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Rhodellia

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Rhodellia last won the day on January 4

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About Rhodellia

  • Birthday October 1

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    United Kingdom

NationStates

  • NS
    Rhodellia
  • Capital
    Gottesberg
  • HoS
    King August III
  • HoG
    Chancellor Theobald Michaelis

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  1. @Orioni I’ve pretty much already integrated my timeline with @Shffahkia, @Kirvina, and @Fulgistan’s. I’ve conducted trade and received immigrants from all three. Fulgistan and the earlier Yellow Empire played significant roles in influencing Rhodellian technological and cultural development. In exchange, Rhodellian entrepreneurs were probably among the Derthaler industrialists who helped to industrialise the Sultanate of Fulgiyan; the threat of economic colonialism by foreign powers was a major cause for his revolution. We’ve talked about Rhodellian weapons from the Colonial Era and Anéantic Wars being sold en-masse to Fulgistani markets too. Rhodellia’s history is also closely intertwined with Kirvina and Shffahkia’s. Rhodellian troops fought alongside Shffahkia in the Eustachian Wars against Kirvina, and alongside both in the Anéantic Wars. In the Colonial Era, Kirvinska troops proved crucial to winning the First Valley War. They were allowed to settle in the Rhodellian Commonwealth afterwards; their descendants have since grown into the largest ethnic minority in Rhodellia. Aside from that, Rhodellian merchants have conducted trade and other exchanges with them for centuries. Not sure what to do about Faramount. He hasn’t said anything on discord since November. As for analogies with Argentina, I think I can make a Falklands joke somewhere down the line. There’s a big island just to the east, but I’d rather let its history be written by any future players who end up getting placed there. However, I don’t think a big analogy is all that necessary.
  2. I’ll pick Southern Aurelia. The climate's just a rough idea I compressed into a single sentence. The history parts are more fleshed out and important. Feel free to take some liberties when drawing out the map. Cheers mate!
  3. Culture Military Culture “Dulce et decorum est pro Patria mori. It is sweet and honorable to die for The Fatherland”, Wilfred Owen (Dulce et Decorum est) Why do young people - in their prime, having not yet lived a full life - enlist in the military? Why do they volunteer to die for the profits of oil conglomerates and the games of amoral politicians? War leads to so many anti-climatic ends, lost futures, and wasted potentials. When you think of the industrialised slaughters of the past century, how could war be anything but a senseless waste of human life? It’s reasonable to say that most countries on Eurth see war as this massive tragedy. Rhodellia isn’t one of them. Rhodellians have made their mark on the world; they’re a forward-thinking people of pioneers and innovators. Yet, despite all the advances they’ve made, Rhodellians still hold an archaic view of war: war is an inevitable fact of life, military service is a patriotic duty, and combat is a thrill coveted by many. They’re not blind to the reality of the battlefield; the issue is that they’re the polar opposite: Rhodellia has waged war in 498 out of the 536 years since the first Derthaler settlers arrived to colonise it. Native Rhodellians had been fighting each other and earlier foreign colonisers for far longer. Most of the land’s history has been one bitter struggle after the other; it never had the chance to appreciate peace in the way many others have. The result is an entire society desensitised to violence, acceptive of militarism, and willing to fight for their goals. In Rhodellian dictionaries, the formal definition of “peace” is merely “the time used to prepare for the next battle”. With all the terrorist attacks, civil wars, interventions, and Derthalen’s recent diplomatic errors, global “peace” is crumbling in the eyes of every Rhodellian; they can hear the countdown timer ticking. Hatched from a cannonball, the Kingdom of Rhodellia is a modern-day warrior society. A strong martial tradition has emerged from its violent past. Rhodellians learn military science, first aid, survival skills, fieldcraft, marksmanship, and martial arts from an early age, all so that they may protect their freedoms and liberties at the “moment of truth”; the line between “civilian” and “threat to any invading army” is illusory at best. This is perpetuated by the Spartan Protocol: a government initiative that seeks to enhance national security by giving citizens the skills and know-how to fight back against foreign invaders, tyrannical governments, and violent non-state actors. It also doubles as a way to prepare citizens for National Service, where they’re then given the expertise to win conventional wars. The Department of Defence, Department of Education, Department of Health, and many other Rhodellian organisations all have a vested interest in maintaining a combat-ready population. The Rhodellian military and civilian worlds are closely intertwined. 90% of the adult population has completed at least 18 months of National Service. Throughout National Service, conscripts are stationed alongside professional volunteers; this includes plenty of career soldiers who have been around for a long time. Conscripts pick up a lot from their more experienced peers; volunteers (who are, more often than not, former conscripts themselves) are generally quite helpful towards conscripts (whenever they aren’t asking them for boxes of grid squares). This leads to plenty of cultural exchange. Conscripts often adopt the values and mannerisms of other personnel before returning into the civilian world. Meanwhile, 8% of the total adult population is comprised of veterans who served at least 4 years in active duty outside of National Service. Rhodellian civilian culture - from slang, to humour, to (hopefully) ironic worship of the Murder Cube - is almost indistinguishable from its military counterpart. Warrior traditions “I am a Soldier, I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight.”, George S. Patton Rhodellians take pride in their military history. With the help of their local archive, citizens generally keep good records of their family trees; they know which relative or ancestor fought in what war. Most know their ancestry as far back as the First Anéantic War (1914 - 1919). Some can verifiably trace their ancestry all the way back to 1485. Archives can lead to some surprising revelations. Records reveal that every native-born citizen has at least one relative or ancestor who fought in either (or both) the First or Second Anéantic Wars (1939 - 1948). Many know about ancestors who fought in the Eustachian Wars or the War of the First Grand Alliance (1794 - 1799). Furthermore, every native-born citizen personally knows at least one friend, family member, or relative who is either a veteran or is currently serving in the armed forces. In a sense, everyone comes from a military family with a long lineage of service to Rhodellia. The vast majority of Rhodellians feel that they have a strong military tradition, and - following in the footsteps of their family - are naturally inclined to maintain it. Native Rhodellians Derthaler Knights Reverence for the military “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure”, Thomas Jefferson Victory can not be achieved without sacrifice. Rhodellians know this better than anyone. The very liberties and freedoms they enjoy today were built on a mountain of corpses. Countless war memorials dot the landscape; they serve as testament to the millions of men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice across numerous conflicts. Strangely, the memorials do not grieve the deaths of the fallen, but venerate them, along with all currently living servicemen, servicewomen, and veterans. Memorials inspire children with legends of battlefield heroism and martial valour. They challenge the newest generations of aspiring warriors to surpass their ancestors. They offer guidance on what it means to be a true Rhodellian. It’s blatant glorification. However, Rhodellians consciously choose to embrace it. Citizens credit their safety and prosperity to all warriors who take up arms for the Fatherland. The average Rhodellian has a personal reason to respect the armed forces. Most people also know a friend, family member, or relative who has died in the line of the duty, or paid dearly in some other way. Active duty troops on deployments regularly receive video calls, letters, parcels, and other gifts from the folks back home. Companies regularly donate money to veteran-supporting charities, as do many high-profile celebrities. Schools, colleges, and universities often hold fundraisers. When Rhodellians say “Support The Troops”, they do so with unmatched sincerity and passion. On December 19, 2018, “Thank You” - a charity concert organised by the Rhodellian Veterans’ Association to raise funds for veterans with amputations, mental trauma, and other complications that came as a result of their service to the kingdom - was held in Janbourg’s St. Rommel Stadium. Over 100,000 people physically attended the event. Over 40% of Rhodellian households watched the broadcast on television. The amount of people who viewed paid livestreams numbered well into the millions. People also sent money by donating online, by phone, and by text; the donation website crashed within the first two minutes of donations becoming available. All-in-all, the Rhodellian Veterans’ Association has managed to raise over $118,000,000 for its cause, making it the single most successful charity event in the kingdom’s history. This is seen as a reflection of how much people actually care for the veteran community. Rhodellians revere Wehrmacht personnel, regardless of occupation or specialty. You wouldn’t be underrated for being the crewman scrubbing the flight deck of an aircraft carrier, the cook who prepares hot meals for the troops, the mechanic who keeps the tanks in operable condition, the rear echelon truck driver who delivers supplies on time, the intelligence analyst with his eyes in the sky, the administrator who keeps the war machine running, or the General Staff officer who manages operations. Rhodellian children benefit from mandatory Military Theory classes in school. During National Service (after completing basic training), Rhodellian adults are assigned a military occupational specialty (MOS). Combat roles are few and limited, and are only given to the most motivated and able warriors; they are hotly-contested by recruits. Most conscripts end up in support roles such as logistics, communications, intelligence, and administration. The average Rhodellian is well aware of how modern militaries work; everyone will still recognise your importance and respect you so long as you are honest. Being a combat veteran is just a prestige bonus, since they generally tell the stories that sell the most books and movie tickets. Millions of ordinary, relatable people have signed their names on the dotted line, and swore an oath to protect the Constitution of Rhodellia against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Very few of them have ever seen a battlefield, yet - through specialisation and division of labour - still played an important role in making the Wehrmacht the efficient killing machine it is; they’ve undoubtedly done their part in keeping Rhodellia and its people safe from harm. Video games, books, and cinema Storytelling tradition Fitness “There are hunters and there are victims. By your discipline, you will decide if you are a hunter or a victim”, James Mattis The battlefield is no place for the weak. It takes far more than marksmanship skills to be an effective soldier; it takes strength and endurance too. During basic training, recruits are expected to haul at least 45 kilograms of equipment across miles of tough terrain. On patrol in a combat zone, dismounted Rhodellian infantry will carry no less than 30 kilograms in equipment; that figure can be higher, depending on role and mission. If you can’t pull your own weight, then what use are you? On the other end of the scale, obesity is such a resource drain that - if left unchecked - it can threaten national security. The unfit don’t make for ideal soldiers. The government wants 100% of all new civilian enlistees - whether they be National Service conscripts or volunteers - to already meet the Wehrmacht’s demanding fitness standards before they even begin basic training. The Department of Defence, Department of Education, and Department of Health maintain high fitness standards among the civilian population. A key part of the Spartan Protocol, the Citizen Athlete Initiative (CAI) works to prevent physical weakness, overweightness, and obesity from ever becoming a national security threat. It instils a drive within Rhodellians to maintain healthy nutrition, perform regular exercise, and engage in outdoor activities. This way, nearly all of Rhodellia’s adult populace would be physically prepared for military service should the draft ever be activated again. Nipping bad habits in the bud Deterrence against obesity Gun culture “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”, The 2nd Amendment Rhodellia has such a high rate of gun ownership that Wiki editors often mistake its ‘guns per capita’ statistic for a typo; nobody, not even God himself, truly knows how many firearms there are in civilian possession. The most conservative estimates are upwards of 60 million (as of 2017). The average household in the kingdom has a ‘modest’ arsenal of multiple firearms along with a stockpile of ammunition to feed it; it’s easy to mistake your average Rhodellian household for a diehard clan of doomsday preppers. It comes as no surprise that Rhodellia boasts a thriving gun culture; shooting is the kingdom’s most popular recreational activity, surpassing any other sport by far. It’s the common denominator that unites all citizens, just as it’s supposed to be: the government promotes first-rate weapons handling skills as part of the Spartan Protocol’s Citizen Warrior Initiative (CWI). Contrary to popular belief among hippies, daisy-chaining together and singing ‘Kumbaya’ will not stop an invading army. A rifle behind every blade of grass is scientifically proven to do a far better job. In Rhodellia, it is every citizen’s patriotic duty to learn to shoot from an early age. This, along with the kingdom’s permissive gun laws and mandatory weapons handling classes, are deliberate countermeasures against successful foreign invasion and the installation of a tyrannical government. Therefore, guns are held to be an important symbol of freedom. To take them away, or refuse to wield them, is akin to promoting slavery. Anyone with average intelligence can learn to shoot well. A gun is a gun, not a sword or a fighter jet. The gun obsoleted swords and self-bows for a reason: its comparative ease of use allowed lowly soldiers with only a few weeks of training to easily kill highly-trained warriors that dedicated their entire lives to mastering other weapons. Guns empower the weak to prevail against the strong; guns are the great equalisers of man. Therefore it is perfectly possible for a country’s entire (healthy) adult population to become proficient at shooting. The Kingdom of Rhodellia - with its Spartan Protocol, CWI, and long-standing military tradition - takes pride in having achieved this ideal: when push comes to shove, every Rhodellian is a combat-qualified rifleman. The Department of Defence and Department of Education maintain this status quo. In Rhodellia, practically everyone carries a gun. You can walk through a busy city centre, and there'll be plenty of people casually walking around with an automatic rifle or carbine slung from their soldiers. Same with students, who also regularly to sling their rifles to school. When they're not open carrying a rifle, they're most likely conceal carrying a semi-automatic pistol. Most people tend to go plinking or field shooting with their friends after work or school. Kids and teenagers are often enrolled in after-school shooting clubs and cadet programmes. Rhodellians consider their country to be safe; the concept of carrying a gun for self-defence is more of an afterthought. Recreational McNukes History of Rifles Martial Arts culture “The true spirit of martial strategy requires that you train to be useful at any moment and teach men so that they become useful in everything”, Miyamoto Musashi (The Book of Five Rings) The age of the sword is long gone; the infantry of today fight with grenades, automatic rifles, and machine guns. It’s an accepted fact that no competent enemy would ever let you within stabbing range. With that in mind, is there a point in knowing how to kill someone in over seven hundred ways with just your bare hands? Is it still practical to learn martial arts when you can just whip out a gun and end a fight in an instant? As anachronistic as it sounds, Rhodellia’s Department of Defence, Department of Education, Department of Health, and Department of Culture firmly believe so. The Spartan Protocol’s Citizen Warrior Initiative (CWI) promotes the study and practice of martial arts. Rhodellian students undergo mandatory martial arts class starting from Kindergarten. They mostly focus on Bajonettkampf, but a variety of others are taught to prevent monotony. It’s not the footwork, strikes, grappling, joint locks, throws, pins, and disarming techniques that the government finds useful, but the way martial arts changes one’s character. Martial arts instills: discipline, confidence, situational awareness, controlled aggression, improvisation, adaptability, and efficiency. It’s meant to give people the courage and ability to push the offensive or hold their ground against aggressors. Philosophy, meditation, and philosophy (adopted from Oriental (Yellow Empire) and Thalassan martial arts culture in the 18th century) are also important for instilling composure, stability, self-reflection, and mindfulness. These have proven to be useful traits and abilities for the average citizen to have. Thanks to the Oriental inspirations of Bajonettkampf in the 1790s, the ‘Kung Fu Craze’ of the late 1960s and 70s, and anime, present-day Rhodellian martial arts culture traces plenty of descent from the Orient. Rhodellians have written their own philosophical treatises on martial arts with clear Buddhist and Taoist undertones. They’ve created their own distinct fighting styles, with renowned masters going on to found their own schools and academies. Rhodellians’ martial arts training teaches them to strive towards ideals of physical perfection, mental clarity, and enlightenment. With no “belt system” to be found, (just like in the Orient) martial arts is seen as a lifelong commitment; “mastery” comes from decades of study, practice, and application. Thanks to Rhodellia’s military traditions, this is a commitment most are willing to keep. As of 2019, there are 65,684 certified martial arts schools around the Kingdom of Rhodellia. It’s good to have a population with fighting spirit. Rhodellians recognise that the most practical weapon for self-defence is a concealed carry pistol. However, not every country on Eurth is as free as Rhodellia when it comes to gun laws. They can’t always just pull a trigger and be done with it. What would they do if they were on holiday abroad and some guy tried to mug them with a knife, and they had no gun to kill the mugger with? Fold and hand over their wallets like weaklings, thereby condemning themselves to be the laughing stocks of their home country? As dumb as it sounds, Rhodellians are trained not to comply or run away: should negotiations fail, they’re hardwired to face their problems head-on. They’re raised to say “DON’T TREAD ON ME” before “beating the ever-loving shit” out of their would-be assailant. For this situation, they are taught that “might makes right”. The same rule can apply back home in Rhodellia: if both parties consent, then duels and brawls are also considered perfectly lawful and acceptable ways of settling disagreements. Rhodellians train accordingly; their reputations, and perhaps even their lives, may depend on how well they can fight. The result? The average Rhodellian doesn’t need a gun to be ‘dangerous’. Bajonettkampf “Weapons should be sturdy rather than decorative”, Miyamoto Musashi (The Book of Five Rings) The most famous (and perhaps unorthodox) martial art ever to come out of Rhodellia is Bajonettkampf (Bayonet-fighting). It teaches its practitioners how to kill with bayonets, on instinct, with minimal wasted thought, movement, and effort. They train with bayonets fixed to their rifles or gripped in their palms. They are also trained to disarm or disable bayonet-wielding opponents, even when unarmed themselves; there are plenty of pins, joint locks, grapples, and throws involved. Bajonettkampf also instils many qualities desirable in soldiers, such as discipline, physical aggression, and versatility. It pick-and-mixes moves and techniques from fighting styles across the world (sometimes altering them) to form an efficient, practical martial art tailored for realistic combat scenarios. If better ways of doing stuff are discovered, then changes are made in order for the martial art to keep its integrity and remain relevant. Rather than 'self-defence', Bajonettkampf (or at least its ‘Military’ variants) has the express purpose of making Rhodellian soldiers better at ‘killing the enemy’. It is Rhodellia's answer to Jūkendō. In Rhodellian culture and society, the bayonet is symbolic of egalitarianism and the working class. The Rhodellian Labour Party incorporates a bayonet in its emblem, just like its direct predecessor, the Rhodellian Workers' Party. Bayonets are mostly used as utility tools. In everyday life, they're used as pencil sharpeners, letter openers, and bottle openers, for example. While hiking or camping, they're used for making kindling, splitting firewood, and removing splinters, for example. They've got a wide variety of useful applications; as a result, practically all Rhodellians walk around with a bayonet sheathed somewhere. Psychological warfare Martial arts styles and schools Categories of Bajonettkampf History of Bayonets and Bayonet-fighting Recreation and Sports "War has never been so much fun", Cannon Fodder Recreation and sports in Rhodellia have a distinct, military flavour to them. They can double both as ‘fun pastimes’ and ‘preparation for SHTF scenarios’. This is attributed to Rhodellia’s prevalent military culture, martial traditions, and abundance of guns and ammunition. There’s that, and how Rhodellians are generally jingoistic and desensitised to violence. While sports such as football and basketball are often played, they’re not quite considered ‘national sports’; they haven’t had as much of an impact on Rhodellian culture as rifles and bayonets have. Video games are popular too. Rhodellia even has its own eSports tournaments. However, they’re not really distinctive of Rhodellian culture. Schützenfest Multigun Field shooting Long range shooting Plinking Firefight Panzerfahren Martial arts tournaments S.T.A.L.K.E.R Consumption of Anti-War media Colonel: ‘You write "Born to Kill" on your helmet and you wear a peace button. What's that supposed to be? Some kind of sick joke?’ Private Joker: ‘I think I was trying to suggest something about the duality of man… The Jungian thing, sir.’ Stanley Kubrick (Full Metal Jacket) Though strict media censorship laws are enforced during ‘national emergencies’ and times of war, freedom of speech is a protected human right. People are legally allowed to criticise the military and speak out against the government’s policies. However, calling soldiers “murderers” or “baby killers” in an anti-war demonstration will get you crippled by every bystander in a five-mile radius. Rather than separate you from your assailants, Rhodellian police are far more likely to take selfies with them and livestream your near-death experience for likes on social media. This makes it surprising - and oftentimes even confusing - that Rhodellians consume a lot of anti-war media. Plenty of anti-war comics, books, video games, television shows, and films have achieved mainstream popularity in Rhodellia. Many have even cemented themselves into Rhodellian popular culture. For example: Attack helicopter pilots commonly blast “Flight of the Valkyries” from loudspeakers while engaging ground targets. “I wanted to be the first kid on my block to get a confirmed kill” is an acceptable interview answer to “Why do you want join the military?” “I’M DOING MY PART” is the traditional reply to every Wehrmacht recruitment advert that gets posted online. “Do you feel like a hero yet?” is a popular joke said after combat personnel score their first kills. “I love the smell of Napalm in the morning” is the most common quote found on coffee mugs “Im Westen nichts Neues” (better known abroad as “All Quiet on the Western Front”) is still a bestselling book almost a century after it was published. “POLICE THAT MOUSTACHE” is common slang for “Get your appearance in order” Nobody - not even the government - has a problem with this. People in other countries do; they see Rhodellians as ‘living contradictions’: Why do Rhodellians consume so much anti-war media when they act so patriotic and militant? Sociologists infer that Rhodellians are actually self-aware when it comes to their military culture. They’re not the one-dimensional warmongers others stereotype them to be; their feelings towards war are more complex than what meets the eye. They know that war isn’t all fun and games; they’ve seen enough gorey footage online and in the news, read enough soldiers’ memoirs in schools, and attended enough military funerals to know that war can be a horrible thing. They know that not every serviceman or servicewoman is a saint. They’re aware that the politics behind their wars aren’t always as moral as the news makes them out to be. It is believed that - deep down - Rhodellians are not too different from their counterparts living in more peaceful countries; they are ordinary people who would rather live in peace, but are forced to take up arms just to ensure their own survival. Yet, why do Rhodellians continue to perpetuate their warlike stereotype? Their education system is highly militarised. Their most popular recreational activities and sports all mimic warfare to varying degrees. Their military is never short of able volunteers, even in the worst of times. Rhodellians know that they’re not living in times of peace. They are only alive and free because of their military traditions and hawkish policies; the only thing standing between Rhodellia and oblivion is a patriot with a gun. And so, they are locked in a vicious cycle of violence. Of course, if you tell them that they're peace-lovers on the inside, at the very least they'll call you a "pussy-ass hippie-communist cocksucker".
  4. What better way to spice up Eurth's underworld than to throw in more mercenaries, hitmen, and S.T.A.L.K.E.Rs? I'm in.
  5. Last First Anéantic War veteran dies aged 115 Gottfried Huber, 18 February 2019, 10:41 The guns fell silent on November 11, 1919. To little fanfare, the First Anéantic War came to a bitter close. The conflict saw entire towns reduced to rubble, the fields beyond bombed to oblivion, and millions dead on either side. Even with the advent of tanks and aircraft, such was the stalemate of trench warfare that we measured captured land in centimetres. Historians regard it as the first true “total war” the Kingdom of Rhodellia had ever committed herself to fighting. Memorial Day 2019 will mark the centenary of the Armistice that ended it. This year’s service will be different, but not in a good way... a familiar face and special guest - a man who has featured in every Memorial Day service for the past 99 years - will not be joining us this year... He was Roswalt Wagner, the last Rhodellian veteran of the First Anéantic War, and a veteran of the Second Anéantic War. On February 16, his great great granddaughter called paramedics to the Wagner family home in Janbourg’s suburbs. Wagner could feel that his “time” had come. He made it clear to everyone that he didn’t want to die in a hospital bed. His grandson and the paramedics helped him to the garage. In there, Wagner kept his tank from the Second Anéantic War, a Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf. H he called Edelweiss. With his grandchildren and great grandchildren serving as his crew, and himself as the tank commander, they drove Edelweiss around the neighbourhood. Informed of what was going on, people from across the neighbourhood took to the streets just to salute the dying veteran. Wagner managed to sing the entire Panzerlied, only passing away after reciting the last few lines: “If Death's bullet does find us… and fate calls us away, then our tank will become an honourable iron grave” Birth of a warrior Wagner was born on February 5, 1904. When the First Anéantic War broke out in 1914, he was only 10 years old, and still in primary school. He was a normal kid who marched alongside parading soldiers, went out shooting with his friends, and waved the flag. Like the half a million Rhodellians who signed up in the first two months of the war, he too wanted in on the action. There was just one, teensy, little problem: he was 8 years too young to enlist. He still tried to enlist anyway. The queue outside the local recruitment office stretched on for 4 hours. He waited in line anyway, passing the time by telling fellow aspiring recruits about his dad’s experiences in the Nordwalde Revolutionary War, and how Wagner was going to top all of them. He made it as far as the medical examination; a doctor declared him “unfit” for service, owing to Wagner’s underdeveloped body. His dreams were going to have to wait... Fast forward to 1917. Wagner tried his hand at enlisting again. This time around, he got his act together. Puberty hit Wagner like a truck: at 12 years of age, he stood at 6 ft 2. Since he was rejected in 1914, he approached his martial arts instructor to help him train to be “strong in mind, body, and spirit”. The 2-year programme that followed broke the boy’s limits, shaping him into such a formidable man that his mere presence intimidated everyone at the recruitment office. Nobody dared to question his age, health, or ability; however, the staff did ask Wagner why he didn’t try to enlist in 1914. Wagner resisted knocking them out on the spot. He signed his name on the dotted line, and swore an oath to the Rhodellian flag: he would defend Rhodellia against all enemies, foreign and domestic. At long last, he was finally in. Wagner would then spend 30 weeks training as a rifleman at Fort Alger, Westfalen. He was assigned to the 4th Grenadiers Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. Military service in the First Anéantic War The 2nd Infantry Division took part in the Spring Offensive of 1918. 3,500,000 troops (including 2,100,000 Rhodellians), over 1,000 tanks, and over 3,000 aircraft were committed to one last shot to break the stalemate and win the war. Wagner would see more action that he’d have ever dreamed of. His unit conducted offensive patrols out in No Man’s Land, captured outposts, took part in firefights, and stormed trenches. Other soldiers saw as Wagner this quiet but dependable guy. He never talked much about his life before enlisting; he had no stories to tell about sweethearts or college banter. He just kept a stash of letters addressed to home, but never sent any of them. Nevertheless, Wagner earned respect from his peers as a capable warrior who “didn’t f*ck around”. He always volunteered to be the “point man”, he always found a way to advance, and he always found a way to push the objective. He went above and beyond the call of duty; he refused to let his country down. If you’re wondering where Wagner’s parents were in all of this, they were busy trying to track their son down. Wagner ditched school and ran away from home. The police had no clue as to where the boy disappeared. He had been missing for over a year by the time of the Spring Offensive. His parents only realised where their son was when a peculiar photograph ended up on the front page of a local newspaper. It featured a photograph of Wagner... in Army uniform... holding an Maschinenpistole 18… hitching a ride on a Sturmpanzerwagen. What the hell was their 13 year-old boy doing in an active warzone? Wagner’s father was reportedly quite impressed. Wagner’s mother felt the same, but she also felt that her son should have waited until he was 18 to enlist; he was also missing out on his education. She took the train all the way to the Ministry of War’s main office in Gottesberg. She presented Roswalt Wagner’s birth certificate, outing her son as underage, a child soldier. The Ministry of War gathered what information they could on the boy. Private Roswalt Wagner of the 4th Grenadiers Regiment was a distinguished warrior in true Rhodellian tradition; he had only just recently been awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class for rescuing multiple wounded comrades from No Man’s Land. Even if he was just one person, Wagner was still a valuable asset to the war effort. The government dragged out the discharge for as long as possible, going as far as to fabricate “communication difficulties” and “organisational errors”. Meanwhile, on the frontlines, military police gave Wagner’s company enough time to raid an enemy officers’ bunker for booze and throw their golden boy a party. After six weeks on the frontlines, Wagner was going home. He felt bad about leaving his comrades behind; they were good people. He only obeyed in the end because he also felt rather homesick. Wagner was one of 250,000 Rhodellian boys under the age of eighteen who fought in the First Anéantic War. He wasn’t the youngest, nor was he the most decorated of the lot. The record for the youngest youth goes to Private Karl Hartmann, who enlisted in 1914 at the age of 12. He was a logistician for much of the First Anéantic War, but grew to become a Luftwaffe (Air Force) fighter ace during the Second Anéantic War. He died in 2003, aged 101. The record for the most decorated youth was Lieutenant Paul Kiefer, who enlisted in 1914 at the age of 16. He earned the Iron Cross 1st Class, Iron Cross 2nd Class, and other honours for his tactical successes during the Spring Offensive. He served as a Heer (Army) Colonel during the Second Anéantic War. He died in 2009, aged 111. At the very least, Wagner has the distinction of outliving them all. As the history books tell us, the Spring Offensive would eventually grind to a halt. Its rate of advance proved too fast and too ambitious to be sustainable. They suffered too many irreplaceable losses in manpower and equipment in the process. The tide of the war turned against Rhodellia and her allies. The Grand Alliance would exploit this weakness and launch its own successful counter-offensive. The war would drag on for another year. On November 11, 1919, the Armistice would take effect. The “Accursed Treaty” brought Rhodellia to its lowest point in history: it forced the abolition of the Rhodellian monarchy, the confiscation of territories, the demilitarisation of key industrial areas, and the army downsized to a meagre 100,000 men, and worse. Even if Rhodellia didn’t start the war, the Grand Alliance still piled full blame and responsibility on the kingdom anyway. Wagner regretted not having fought to the bitter end. Thanks to his government, he felt, all the hardships and sacrifices he and his comrades endured… had been for nothing. He denounced his government’s signing of the Accursed Treaty as treachery in its highest form. He would later become an advocate of the “stab-in-the-back” myth (Dolchstoßlegende): he blamed “civilian politicians” for ending the war “prematurely”, accepting the outrageous demands of the Accursed Treaty, and putting his beloved nation into a downward spiral. He would maintain this stance for many years. Revisionist historians later dispelled the myth in the 1950s. They rediscovered archival records dating from 1917 to 1919. It became apparent that Rhodellia was running out of reserves, strategically on the back foot, and - with the failure of the Spring Offensive - had effectively lost the war by the end of 1918. All roads from that point forward led to defeat; rather than “how can the kingdom still win the war”, the real question was “how much damage control can the kingdom manage?”. The kingdom only continued to fight into 1919 because the Rhodellian government kept pushing for less draconian terms of surrender; if it accepted the original terms presented to them in 1918, then the Accursed Treaty could have been a lot worse. Rhodellia would not have recovered as well as it did in the 1930s if it weren’t for the civilian government’s sheer persistence in striking the best possible deal. Wagner came to accept new evidence; he admitted that he was wrong, and was happy to reverse his opinion. Military service in the Interwar Period Rhodellia lost the war. The new republic’s military was barely a skeleton of its millions-strong predecessor. Even then, Wagner still continued to follow his dream of a fruitful military career. In 1919, soon after the Accursed Treaty was signed, a left-wing rebellion broke out in Gottesberg. The threat of radical communists hijacking the transitional government didn’t sit well with Wagner. His entire family took the train to Gottesberg just to join one of the Freikorps opposing the revolutionaries. They took part in a few firefights, retaking occupied city sectors with rifles, shotguns, submachine guns, bayonets, and grenades. At one point, Wagner and his elder brother, Hans, burned down an insurgent hideout with a Flammenwerfer. However, all fun must come to an end; one by one, the main revolutionary leaders were found and executed by other citizen militias. The uprising lasted only one week, and barely disturbed everyday life in the capital. At least helping to crush the Communists made for an enjoyable family retreat. Wagner and his family returned home, happy that they (sort of) made up for lost time during the First Anéantic War. Wagner returned to Gottesberg the year after. Finished with secondary school, he was ready to pursue further education: he enrolled at the Military Academy of Rhodellia 1920, attended Officer School in 1922, and earned his commission. He later advanced into the Military University of Rhodellia, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Military History. While studying, he grew disillusioned with the Republic of Rhodellia’s current state of forced “Demilitarisation”; it didn’t feel right, not at all. It didn’t deserve the shame of being a “pariah” or a “defeated country”. Rhodellia deserved better. He missed being able to take pride in his country. He missed the glory days of the kingdom. Following the Accursed Treaty, Rhodellia degenerated into a shadow of its former glory. Things had to turn around… but how? The House of Rödel secretly returned from exile in 1928. It violated the Accursed Treaty, but they couldn’t just sit by and watch their country spiral into decay. Crown Prince Frederick von Rödel would run for the 1930 General Election, albeit under an alias: Frederick von Müsel. Frederick used his household’s contacts and financial resources to set up his own political party: the centre-right Free Rhodellian Party. Frederick explicitly vowed to “Make Rhodellia Great Again”, rekindling Rhodellian patriotism. He denounced the Accursed Treaty out loud, made striking commentaries on the absolute state of Rhodellia, and criticised other parties’ acceptance of an unjust status quo. Wagner joined the Free Rhodellian Party, and voted for Frederick in both the 1930 and 1935 General Elections. Frederick won both a landslide victory and an overwhelming majority in the Reichstag. A significant portion of the Reichsrat also rallied behind him. His power as Chancellor of Rhodellia was unquestionable. After ten years of wallowing in the dirt, things were finally looking up for the nation. When the Rhodellian Wehrmacht was established in 1935, Wagner held the rank of Captain. Frederick had been pursuing an aggressive policy of Rearmament, an act of defiance against the Accursed Treaty. His predecessors began the process in the 1920s, thinking up all sorts of creative ways to circumvent the treaty. From calling their tanks “tractors”; to organising, training, and equipping police forces in paramilitary fashion; to starting more youth clubs that teach children and teenagers how to shoot rifles and fight with bayonets; to low-key encouraging the citizenry to set up their own extremely well-armed militias and paramilitary groups. Meanwhile, tank commanders and aircraft pilots were covertly sent abroad to partake in secret training programmes. Wagner was one of the tank commanders who “tested” “tractors” for “humanitarian missions”. In 1935, Chancellor Frederick began flipping the bird at the Accursed Treaty’s military restrictions. He stopped hiding all the tanks and aircraft in Rhodellia’s inventory. Captain Wagner, having spent the 1920s and early 1930s training in armoured warfare, was assigned to the newly-formed 1st Panzer Division. Wagner participated in the retaking of “rightful Rhodellian clay” during the Anschluss and Appeasement. This lit a fire in his heart of iron: it was going to take a lot more than a piece of paper to reverse over four hundred years of Rhodellian military tradition. Military service in the Second Anéantic War, and beyond In 1939, Rhodellia’s enemies finally realised that their policy of Appeasement wasn’t working. Rhodellian tanks, aircraft, and infantry continued to make mockeries out of national borders. It was if the Rhodellians never followed The Treaty at all. The former members of the Grand Alliance faced a brand new episode of “Derthaler Imperialism”; this was no nightmare, but a reality. Anéantic War 2: Electric Boogaloo, was upon them. The Grand Alliance from the First Anéantic War hastily reformed to counter the Rhodellians and their several newfound allies. They declared war in 1939 to contain the Rhodellian advance. They confided in the strength of a strong defensive line - a gauntlet of pillboxes, bunkers, and fortresses - to delay the bulk of the Wehrmacht while the Third Grand Alliance mobilised its forces. They fully expected the Rhodellians to make a repeat of 1914’s Schlieffen Plan, where the Rhodellians circumvented the Second Grand Alliance’s defensive lines by invading through another country. However, the frontlines in that situation would be short enough to be manageable with the Alliance’s current manpower. Their best divisions were sent to fortify that vulnerable part of the border… except for this one forest. The Alliance barely fortified that forest. Alliance High Command thought that the trees were too dense for armoured and mechanised divisions to move through. They were wrong. They were sorely, sorely wrong. In a manoeuvre named the Manstein Plan, the Wehrmacht would use that exact same forest to circumvent the Alliance two strongest defensive lines. Their plans falling apart, the Alliance’s armies were thrown into chaos. They launched desperate counter-offensive after desperate counter-offensive to reverse the situation, only for many of their armies to get flanked, encircled, and enveloped by highly-mobile Panzer and Panzergrenadier divisions. The Spring Offensive of 1918 may have doomed Rhodellia in the First Anéantic War, but it actually helped the Republic during the Second Anéantic War: it gave the Heer and Luftwaffe the operational experience to perform a textbook combined arms assault. Within seven weeks, Rhodellian troops were already goose-stepping through the streets of their first enemy capital. Historians would coin the term “blitzkrieg” with this success in mind. By the war’s outbreak in 1939, Wagner held the Heer rank of Major. The 1st Panzer Division took part in Fall Gelb (Case Yellow) and Fall Rot (Case Red), seeing the destruction and surrender of numerous foes. The opening years of the Second Anéantic War were a full-on war of movement, and Wagner loved this. Wagner’s tanks served in the vanguards of numerous operations. He fought with aggression; very few Alliance commanders could match his unrelenting fury and infectious zeal for battle. As per Rhodellian doctrine for officers, he always stayed close to the action, where he could keep a close eye on developments and best command his troops. His troops respected their leader as a paternal figure, trusting in his wisdom and making him proud in return. His penchant for offensive operations, and affinity for armoured, mechanised, and motorised units, earned him the nickname of “The Iron Lancer”. However, the war would eventually slow down after 1942. The Grand Alliance’s conscription programmes were fully operational, and their industries had fully adapted to the needs of total war. Successive layers of defensive lines were built to bog down Rhodellian advances while they prepared their own counter-offensives. Urban, woodland, and mountain warfare became the order of the day. Wagner - who preferred the fluid “war of manoeuvre” that defined the previous years - was way out of his element, but nevertheless - like other Rhodellian officers - he would improvise, adapt, and overcome. Some military thinkers today are convinced that urban terrain is a death trap for tanks. Even today, tanks are a key component of Rhodellian military doctrine when it comes to urban warfare. Infantry and tanks in conjunction proved to be a very capable combination. Wagner’s tanks blasted anything that troubled the infantry, while infantry kept his tanks safe from threats they couldn’t handle on their own. It’s a symbiotic relationship. The Second Anéantic War would eventually end in 1948. It was a decisive victory for Rhodellia and her allies, such as Shffahkia and Kirvina. Almost 30 years after the Accursed Treaty brought Rhodellia to her knees, Wagner finally saw his nation redeemed. He sang the Kingdom of Rhodellia’s old national anthem when Crown Prince Frederick revealed his true identity at his Victory Speech in Gottesberg. Wagner and his regiment took part in the Victory Parade that followed. He celebrated when the Kingdom of Rhodellia was restored in 1950. He spent the rest of his military career as part of the Rhodellian occupation forces overseeing the Frederick Plan’s implementation in occupied countries. He would eventually retire in 1964, aged 60, at the rank of General. He was also awarded the Legion of Honour, becoming a Knight Commander for his distinguished service in both Anéantic Wars and in-between. Retirement Roswalt Wagner would spend the rest of his days in his home city of Janbourg, living a quiet retirement with his wife, kids, and their descendants. He would go on to attend every Memorial Day service and Victory Day parade. He would also meet up with his buddies from both Anéantic Wars at numerous Veterans’ Reunions, every year, without fail. Wagner often talked about his experiences on and off the battlefields during both of his wars. He shared his stories with students in schools, colleges, and universities across the kingdom. He also spoke at numerous events, conferences, and conventions. As you may remember, he even made a rather heartfelt speech at the Thank You concert last December. When asked on his feelings about the First Anéantic War, he expressed similar sentiments to most other Rhodellian veterans: “Frankly, I had enjoyed the war.” Wagner felt sorrowful with the loss of each veteran, especially those who had served in the First Anéantic War. “We’re a dying breed”, Wagner told a live talk show host in 1968. “Only five of my buddies from the 4th Grenadiers Regiment showed up to last year’s reunion for First Anéantic War veterans. This year it was four.” The second-to-last Rhodellian veteran of the Anéantic War, Akecheta Müller, died in 2014. Wagner’s only recorded response was this single line: “Then it’s only me…” Funeral and Community Responses (so far) Roswalt Wagner’s death came as a shock to Rhodellia. Responses have been hugely supportive of Wagner’s family thus far, with people far and wide paying their respects to the late veteran. News of his death made the rounds across social media. A social media post made by one of his many descendants, Panzerfahren tank commander Fredericka Wagner (who now plays professional for Janbourg’s Panzerfahren team), has gained over 121,000 likes within 24 hours. A tribute video made by the Rhodellian Veterans’ Association lamenting Roswalt’s death and celebrating his life has gained over 423,000 likes within 24 hours. More community responses are being created and posted as of this obituary’s writing. A state funeral will be held for ex-General Wagner on February 24 at 11:00. The procession will take place in his home city of Janbourg. More information will be updated as soon as it becomes available. Trending news Nordwalde Crisis: Princess Elysse decapitates would-be assassin with a sword “Obesity will remain illegal” Supreme Court defends Spartan Protocol, shutting down foreign Fat Acceptance Movement Rabeswalde militia claims to have killed Bigfoot in a drone strike. Forensics team dispatched to investigate crater “Cannibal Island” purged in “Exterminatus” operation by internet-organised volunteer militia Tagmatine Empire granted land to construct new Embassy Janbourg girl (who identifies as an attack helicopter) buys herself a helicopter gunship for Valentine’s Day Police issue joke warning to “Mecha” pilot for “walking a bipedal robot without a licence”
  6. To: The Agios Basilikon Kounsistorion of the Megas Agios Basileia ton Arhomanion From: King August von Rödel III, Chancellor Theobald Michaelis, and Secretary of Foreign Affairs Takoda Wagner of the Kingdom of Rhodellia It is an honour for you to have personally reached out to our humble nation state. Aside from the Yellow Empire, Rhodellians have historically looked up to the Aroman, Adapton, and Tagmatine Empires as guiding lights, helping to set our growth and development in the forward and pioneering direction it did. The kingdom is grateful. As one good turn deserves another, it would be Rhodellia’s pleasure to join Tagmatium and the rest of the Free World in its quest for a brighter tomorrow. As you have proposed, an exchange of embassies is in order. It will be an excellent first step towards a longstanding, mutually-beneficial relationship between our respective nations and peoples. Firstly, there is the matter of location. Foreign embassies are built in Gottesberg’s Capital District, specifically in a suburb called Oststrand. Oststrand is almost entirely dedicated to foreign embassies; it is currently host to many diplomatic missions, including those of: The Grand Duchy of Kirvina, The Worker's Republic of Fulgistan, The Rihan Republic, The Federative Republic of Shffahkia, and The Holy Empire of Derthalen. Within the suburb, there are plenty of reserved plots to choose from. Once your surveyors arrive, they may pick any one plot to construct an embassy in. Elsewhere in Rhodellia (even in major cities) are smaller plots available should you wish to build consulates to supplement the main embassy. The specifics can be negotiated in finer detail at another date. Second, there is the matter of transit. Oststrand is mainly serviced by a dual carriageway (Waldseemüller Road). Several public bus lines run through the area. The nearest train station to Oststrand is Reichstag Station. Like the name implies, it can be found opposite the Reichstag (Parliament) building, on Waldseemüller Road. Reichstag Station services the Gottesberg Underground’s Hindenburg Line, Gottesberg Monorail’s Siegfried Line, multiple tram lines, and plenty of buses. Other local landmarks that can help your embassy staff navigate Capital District include: The National Library, The National Museum, The Rhodellian War Memorial, and Memorial Park. Gottesberg International Airport and Ehrler Airport can be reached either by Gottesberg Underground (via the Bülow Line), Gottesberg Maglev (via the Zeppelin Line), or the Autobahn (via Autobahn 1). Should you choose to build consulates elsewhere in the country, you can reach them via the Autobahn, interstate flights from Ehrler Airport, high-speed railways from Wilhelm II Station and Manstein Park Station, and many other stations that serve buses, low-speed railways, and river ferries. Using the high-speed railway network, personnel, supplies, and equipment can cost-effectively travel from one side of the country to the other in under 12 hours. Even if it was originally developed with national defence in mind, we hope that Rhodellia’s transportation network will serve you well. Thirdly, there is the matter of security. Your diplomats are safe anywhere in Rhodellia. The only exception would be the Nordwalde District, where there is an ongoing peacekeeping operation. However, your diplomats may find Rhodellian culture to be "outlandish". Inform them that they should not be alarmed should they see pedestrians casually walking in the streets while open-carrying military-grade assault rifles, bayonets, or other weapons. The kingdom is not in a state of unrest or civil war. Students normally carry automatic rifles to their schools and youth clubs. Adults often carry weapons to shooting ranges after work. Rest assured; they are trained operators starting from primary school. Most Rhodellians living in urban areas prefer to use public transport or walk to their destinations, so the sheer amount of gun owners present in the country is highly visible. Contrary to what some foreign news outlets might claim to push gun control agendas in their own countries, crime rates in Gottesberg are remarkably low and residents generally feel safe. Should the need to supplement your embassies and consulates’ security detail arise, your staff are free to call upon local law enforcement or hire local private military contractors. Embassy staff can also be issued Provisional Gun Licenses at their request. Overall, Oststrand is a secure, recommended spot for an embassy. Fourthly, there is the matter of Rhodellia’s ambassador to Tagmatium. We have selected politician, industrialist, and ex-Luftwaffe colonel Arend Vogel to represent the kingdom’s interests and policies in your country. Preparations on the Rhodellian side of the embassy exchange are still well underway, hence our delayed response. We in Rhodellia hope that progress on the Tagmatine side will go just as well, if not better. Since her conception in 1871, the Kingdom of Rhodellia has always sought to live by her founding principles of freedom, liberty, and democracy. Rhodellia is committed to spreading those values to the wider world. Though the kingdom may be humanist and secular, it embraces freedom of religion as part of its Bill of Rights and Constitution; Rhodellia is happy to cooperate with any state regardless of what religion or denomination they may affiliate with. Our methods may be different, but we share a common end goal. Between us there is unlimited potential to make a positive change in the world. Let us engage in jolly cooperation, and work hand-in-hand towards a better, more prosperous humanity.
  7. Cheers for the feedback! I'll be happy to answer any questions you might have over the next few days. I'll also give some justifications for stuff, like technological advancements and their chronology. Many native tribes specifically set out to destroy the Colonies very early on. Their warriors attacked hunters, shepherds, and farmers . They also launched raids on settlements. What stopped them from succeeding was that: Natives also had other natives to deal with. Just because a new kid showed up on the block, doesn't mean that everyone will immediately forget their rivalries, unite together, and gang up on him. Plenty of native tribes aligned themselves with the Derthaler. Rather than threats, they saw the Derthaler as an opportunity to rise in power over bigger, more established tribes. This meant that Derthalen's Rhodellian Colonies managed to amass coalitions big enough to counter the more powerful tribes in the local area. This made for an effect deterrent against most genuine threats to the Colonies' existence; attacking a Colony also meant going to war with all of that Colony's allies. The resulting conflict would have likely weakened your tribe enough for a rival to finish it off. Minority tribes could then rule over majority tribes in Derthalen's stead. Alternatively, playing two or more tribes against each other would weaken their influence while bolstering the Colonies'. IRL, "Divide and rule" was used by European colonists to great effect in North, Central, and South America; Africa; and the Indian subcontinent. Derthaler colonists governments consciously practised the same political strategy, knowing that they were (initially) at a severe manpower disadvantage. This above was also the case for larger native civilisations. They had their own balance of power to maintain with other large civilisations. Going to war with the Colonies not only entailed weakening yourself in a war with Derthalen, but also left you in danger of attack or being overtaken by a local rival. The most practical options would have been to ignore or trade with the Derthaler. Derthaler colonists had copious amounts of weapons. Most people armed themselves with axes, spears, and guns; compared to swords and self-bows, these weapons were easier to use with less training. Just like with the European colonisation of North America (according to Blackwater founder Erik Prince), there were mercenaries around as stand-ins for Derthalen's Imperial Army. There were also some knights (nigh-unkillable murder machines when in full plate armour) among the colonists. Furthermore, the Derthaler had the benefit of artillery. They were many decades ahead in military technology. It would have required a massive military operation to wipe out the Colonies. Even then, severe casualties would have been inevitable for the attackers, more than enough to leave them vulnerable to attacks of opportunity. It was not worth attacking the Colonies The primary inspiration for the Battle of the Bottleneck is Japan's Battle of Nagashino (1575), which pitched the combined forces of Oda Nobunaga and Tokugawa Ieyasu against Takeda Katsuyori. It saw the devastating use of stockades and rotating volleys of gunfire by Oda-Tokugawa arquebusiers against repeated Takeda assaults. In the Battle of the Bottleneck, the New Rhodellian Army's musketeers used a similar tactic against the army of Kimsantinsuyu (OTL Inca Empire). The Derthaler defensive line consisted of multiple layers. Each was filled with a block of pikemen or rank of musketeers, depending on the situation. The first few layers consisted of trenches that Derthaler musketeers could shoot from. Behind them would be more ranks of musketeers standing above-ground, firing over the first few ranks' heads. This arrangement also allowed the New Rhodellian Army's direct-fire artillery to shoot at the enemy as well. The trenches also served other purposes. The colonists knew what cover was and how to use it. Medieval castles had battlements for a reason, so the concept of cover isn't new. Native Rhodellians made effective use of cover in battles against Derthaler colonists from the very first Derthaler-Native conflicts of the 1480s. The colonists were able to pick up the concept very early on, and use it to stand toe-to-toe with native warriors. In the Age of Gunpowder and Military Revolution (as described by historians Michael Roberts and Geoffrey Parker), the "trace italienne" bastion fort replaced the medieval-style castle. Derthaler colonial troops built their own forts in the same style starting from the 16th century, and they would have been smart enough to know how to know how to assault their own fortifications. The best way to get troops within assaulting distance of a bastion fort (without getting mauled by defensive artillery) is to dig parallel and zigzag trenches towards the fortifications. By the 1610s, the concept of using trenches as cover wouldn't have been considered new or groundbreaking. At the Battle of the Bottleneck, the terrain was relatively flat farmland with only a few groves of trees to use for lumber. For cover, they got out shovels and dug trenches. Dug-up soil was used to fill gabions that above-ground musketeers and artillery crews could use as their own cover. The trenches protected the troops from incoming artillery in the battle's opening stage; cannonballs fired from field guns flew in a relatively flat arc, meaning they tended to bounce over trenches. During the skirmishing stage of the battle, Derthaler colonists would have ducked for cover when they saw that an enemy was about to fire a volley, and pop out to return fire while the enemy was reloading. This would minimise damage received while maximising damage dealt in return. In the melee stage of the battle, the trenches still benefited the Derthaler. They served as artificial chokepoints, funnelling numerically-superior enemy troops into better-armed and better-armoured Derthaler pikemen and halberdiers. The confines of the trenches meant that there was no way to manoeuvre around the reach of these weapons; the only option for attacking enemies was to walk into the pointy sticks and get stabbed to death. Enemy troops already exhausted themselves running gauntlets of obstacles and before reaching the Derthaler lines. This made knocking down or hacking through sturdy, deeply-embedded wooden stockades very hard to do, especially with thousands of highly-skilled and coordinated musketeers shooting at you from well within their weapons' effective range. The best way of not getting mowed down was to jump into a trench through an existing breach in the stockades. This created meatgrinders that favoured the Derthaler. The Derthaler colonists were no strangers to concealment either. The enemy commander was confident that his numerical superiority would make up for any technological disparities; he (rightfully) assumed that the Derthaler Colonies had a significantly lower population than Kimsantinsuyu. What he couldn't know, was that the Colonies had the financial, organisational, administrative, and logistical infrastructure to field a larger proportion of their population. Feudal nations that raised armies from their vassals could normally field up to 1.2% of their total population. The Colonies could field approximately 5% of their combined population. The Kimsantinsuyu commander's estimates of Derthalen's military strength could have been up to 4 times smaller than reality. If you think from his perspective, his odds looked pretty good. The Derthaler commander predicted this, and sought to exploit it. The trenches helped to hide the true number of soldiers the New Rhodellian Army brought with it, giving a false impression of weakness. The Kimsantinsuyu commander, his generals, and his scouts lacked telescopes. They could only see a weak Derthaler force compensating for a serious numerical disadvantage with temporary field fortifications. This would have reinforced their idea of an easy victory through overwhelming numbers. They (understandably) underestimated their opposition and acted far less cautiously than they ought to have. And so, the Kimsantinsuyu army essentially went all-in. By the time they realised that they mucked up and got bamboozled, the battle was already lost. The flamethrowers used in the Battle of the Bottleneck were of the Chinese variety. It's stated in Rhodellia's main history factbook that they were originally picked up either from the former Yellow Empire (the Orient). Because the Colonies were still trying to reverse-engineer the weapons and their ammunition as of 1617, it's also stated that the Colonies had issues manufacturing them; it wasn't economical at the time. That's why the New Rhodellian Army only had a handful of experimental flamethrowers available for field-testing. On their own, the few flamethrowers present wouldn't have caused more than a hundred or so casualties before their limited supply of fuel ran out. Their biggest contribution to the battle was the terrifying psychological effect it had on Kimsantinsuyu troops who had never seen someone spit literal fire before; it demoralised them into a large-scale rout. The enemy commander surrendered shortly after. The Commonwealth's decisive victory at the battle would have presented a powerful case for colonial engineers and scientists to continue developing flamethrower technology. The cylindrical containers, bellows, and hoses were easy enough to make. The primary issue facing development was figuring how to economically produce large quantities of flamethrower fuel. The lack of petroleum was problematic. By 1617, colonial farmers in Rhodellia had already encountered small oil wells by accident. However, the Commonwealth wouldn't discover petroleum in any sizeable quantities until the 1860s Oil Rush. Before that, the Rhodellian military mostly depended on small quantities of imported oil originating from what is now the Greater Fulgistan area. Flamethrowers would have seen limited military use until the second half of the 19th century. I can see the Army using them defensively in sieges. They'd have no place in naval warfare in the Age of Sail; they're too much of a fire hazard. The facilities developing and manufacturing flamethrowers and flamethrower fuel would have been state-run. The Agricultural Revolution was a long, gradual process lasting from the 1620s to the late 19th century. Across most of Europe during the Middle Ages, land was either owned by The Church, feudal lords, yeomen, or by the village community. In that last case, it was called "common land" because everyone was free to use it however they please. In the Early Modern Era, that began to change. Church land was starting to be confiscated; this happened in England, with King Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries. Feudalism was dying as countries became increasingly centralised. Common land was being fenced off by landowners in a process known as "Enclosure", which allowed them to more efficiently cultivate the land. Enclosure was fiercely resisted by peasants in many areas, as they depended on Common land for grazing and firewood. In the Colonies' case... the colonial branch of the Ecclesiarchy never managed to grow into a large landowner; it never could exert the same power it did back in Derthalen. The colonial nobility mostly lived modest lives, usually owning no more than a humble manor home with a few servants. Colonial assemblies and the Commonwealth government made sure that no nobles were allowed to become overly-powerful through land ownership, thereby becoming a threat to the new society. "Enclosure" was a thing since the very start of Derthaler colonisaton; peasants were not allowed by Derthalen's Imperial law to migrate to the Colonies. Just like during the British colonisation of Australia, there was a lot of "first-come-first-served" land-grabbing involved, with colonists and pioneers rushing to fence off unclaimed (by Derthaler) land before others could beat them to it. By the 1620s, almost all of the arable land in the Colonies was enclosed and under private ownership (though there were exceptions). Around this time, a large "internal market" was growing around Rhodellia. Great Britain had to invest massive amounts of money in roads and canals to facilitate the transit of goods due to the undeveloped state of its road networks in the same period. Meanwhile, the foundations for Rhodellia's road networks were laid as early as the Mid-16th century; the Colonies had their own standardised system of military roads and highways, explicitly stealing the idea from Kimsantinsuyu (Inca roads) and the Aroman Empire (Roman roads). These roads were still maintained by the time of the First Valley War (1616 - 1617). Travelling merchants and the like frequently used them. The Colonies also didn't have to invest loads of money into building new canals either; it already had two major rivers running through them. The Westfluss and Ostfluss connected the Coastal Colonies to the Inland Colonies. Their tributary and distributary rivers offered access to even more inland settlements. It is significantly more cost-efficient to transport goods over long distances via water than it is via road. This greatly benefited the United States of America, which had natural waterways like the Mississippi river network connecting agricultural areas to almost every part of the country. It also helped that each Colony had education laws like the American Pilgrims: the common person was supposed to be literate in order to understand and facilitate their Proto-Alleman Doctrine sect of the Imperial Truth. They had access to schools, apprenticeships, vocational schools, and universities. Ideas like four-course crop rotation, composting, and new windmills could be spread, understood, and applied very quickly. Farmers were very inclined to innovate in order to stay competitive. From the 18th century onwards, the Rhodellian Agricultural Revolution roughly follows the British Agricultural Revolution as far as technology (like seed drills and artificial fertilisers) is concerned, except with more corn and potatoes as staple crops. A lot of Native Rhodellian farming techniques were also adopted by farmers. This includes terraced farming, which was picked up from Kimsantinsuyu (which, to repeat, was based on the RL Inca Empire) after the First Valley War; terraced farming allowed farmers to cultivate hills and highland. Rhodellia's agricultural revolution essentially had a big head start thanks to the local geography, the logistical needs of military campaigns (which often) creating a well-deveoloped infrastructure network, Derthaler culture, and native peoples who already had their own sophisticated means of agriculture. It was arguably in a better position to have an Agricultural Revolution than real-life Britain. I'll be explaining it in better detail in an upcoming Culture factbook, but here's what I have so far: Just like the name implies, Bajonettkampf specialises in the use of bayonets. It's heavily inspired by Krav Maga: it pick-and-mixes moves and techniques from fighting styles across the world to form an efficient, practical martial art for realistic scenarios. Techniques and philosophies rise and fall out of favour depending on a lot of factors; this leads to a constant state of evolution. Within the Kingdom, there are thousands of dojo-like martial arts schools solely dedicated to teaching bayonet-fighting, with hundreds of distinct "schools" or "styles" to choose from. Rhodellia's martial arts culture primarily evolved from its historical cultural exchanges with the Yellow Empire (and its successor states) and the Thalassan continent. It also evolved from historical Derthaler (HEMA) and Native Rhodellian martial arts, which did not die out in the Age of Gunpowder; historical martial arts instructors made sure to write everything down and publish their work, just to carry on their legacies. Rhodellian bayonet-fighting is split into two main categories: "Military" and "Non-Military". The first and original category is "Military" Bajonettkampf. Following the philosophy of real-life Krav Maga, it designed to be extremely efficient: practical in real-world combat scenarios and focused entirely on killing the enemy. Though it has many off-shoots, the government only recognises two official style of Military Bajonettkampf, and both of them are developed and regulated by the Wehrmacht's "Bayonet-fighting Commission". The first style is taught to conscripts when they enter National Service and volunteers when they re-enlist. The second style (which incorporates more advanced techniques that can't be mastered in a matter of months) is taught to special forces operators. The second and most diverse category is "Non-Military" Bajonettkampf. Only a minority of "Non-Military" bayonet-fighting styles are optimised to kill. Most Non-Military styles deliberately miss the entire point of the martial art: their purposes range from self-defence to competition sports. Different fighters have their own preferred ways of doing things, so here you will find a lot of variation in philosophy and technique. All Rhodellian schools from Kindergarten to Secondary are required to teach Bajonettkampf to their students, but exactly how and what they're taught is dependent on the instructors they choose to hire. Students' fighting abilities are examined and graded each year by a panel of judges working for the Department of Defence. This affects a school's overall rating, same as any academic subject. Rhodellian bayonet-fighting would have evolved a lot over time. Before the age of machine guns, Military Bajonettkampf would have been oriented either towards winning skirmishes or clashes between massed infantry formations. In the age of trench warfare, Military Bajonettkampf would have been oriented towards knife-fighting in the tight confines of trenches and bunkers. After the Kung Fu Craze of the 1970s, loads of Non-Military Bajonettkampf schools would cash in the craze by incorporating philosophies and techniques we'd associate with RL East Asian martial arts (particularly those from China and Japan). According to my University lecturers, the real-life Enlightenment began in the early 17th century (during the Scientific Revolution) and ended in 1789 (the start of the French Revolution). The 17th century is when you had philosophers like John Locke, whose ideas of liberty would go on to influence American Revolutionary thinking in the 1770s. According to the "Timeline of major events on Eurth" ... Eurth's Age of Renaissance takes place between 1300 and 1600. Eurth's Age of Political Revolutions takes place between 1750 and 1850. It follows practically the same timeframe as real-life Earth. From this, it can be inferred that Eurth's Age of Enlightenment occurred roughly at the same time as Eurth's. Like most Rhodellians today, Derthaler colonists in Rhodellia followed the ambitious, rational, and scientific-minded Imperial Truth. However, they followed an Alleman Doctrine-esque sect of the Truth that extended the active pursuit of enlightenment to all people. Just like how the ancient Jews had to be literate in order to comprehend the Torah and Judaism, the Derthaler in Rhodellia had to be educated and literate in order to practice their religion. By the time the Colonies were founded in 1483, the Imperial Truth was practically as old as Christianity itself. Rationality, scientific thought, and progress were already deeply-ingrained in Derthaler culture. Native Rhodellians assimilating into the Colonies were gradually converted by the Ecclesiarchy to embody the same ideals. A "Scientific Revolution" like the one Europe had in real life would have been "business as normal" for the colonists, who were already naturally inclined towards innovation and science. Scientific practice would already have been professionalised and institutionalised for a long time. By the 17th century, the Colonies would already have been in a great position to start embracing the Enlightenment. I put the start of Rhodellia's embracement of Enlightenment in the 1700s for a reason. The Enlightenment was born from newer interpretations of Christian theology, which were of course thought up by Christian philosophers. Those ideas would have had to make their way to the Rhodellian Commonwealth, be translated into Derthaler language, and finally undergo a secular rethinking to be compatible with the atheistic Imperial Truth. Overall, this process should have been completed by the 1710s or 1720s. Rebooted Enlightenment ideas of liberty, freedom, and democracy would have resonated very well with colonists. The Enlightenment should have been fully embraced the entire Commonwealth by the 1740s or 1750s, just in time for the designated Age of Political Revolutions. Rhodellia's adopted plug bayonets since 1671. Bayonet fighting had been a significant pillar of its military doctrine since then with the phasing out of pikes. In the 30 years to 1701, Rhodellia would have experienced two major conflicts - The Second Coalition War and the Samosetian Deluge - along with several other minor conflicts to stress-test the plug bayonet in battle, discover the myriad issues plaguing the design, and work out a solution. The Commonwealth has proportionally seen as much fighting as Ancien Régime France in the same period, but has other advantages working in its favour. 1701 is a perfectly reasonable date to introduce the socket bayonet. The Timeline of major events on Eurth dates the Industrial Revolution: 1760-1830: First industrial revolution including textile, steam, iron, mining, gas 1850-1900: Second industrial revolution including steel, chemical, automobile, petroleum, rubber According to this, the start date of Rhodellia's Industrial Revolution is perfectly in line with Eurth's canon. It's mostly a gradual (not instantaneous) process, just like with everyone else. Here, I'm just simplifying/combining the First and Second industrial revolutions into a single era of technological and industrial development. You don't need an extensive, globe-spanning Empire to start industrialising. Your country just needs the incentive, resources, and ability. Just like with European countries and unlike hegemonic China, (as if all the conflicts weren't enough to get the idea across) the Rhodellian Commonwealth was in bitter competition with its neighbours, and therefore had a powerful incentive to innovate as a means of staying ahead (and therefore, surviving). The Agricultural Revolution; the established trade networks with Derthalen, Fulgiyan, and other countries; and Rhodellia's kleptocratic approach to peace treaties with defeated enemies means that Rhodellia should also have sufficient resources. Rhodellia, with its well-developed infrastructure already existing, universal education laws, high literacy rates, and Imperial Truth, should definitely have the ability to start the process. Rhodellia would have industrialised at a gradual but steady rate after the 1770 because - unlike Britain - it did not follow laissez-faire capitalism. The Workers' Revolution in 1770 meant that business practices were regulated, and sometimes subject to government intervention. Companies couldn't get away with slavery, child labour, underpaying their workers, poor safety precautions, and so on. This should have slowed industrialisation to a reasonable rate in-line with the Eurth Timeline. There shouldn't be a problem. Europeans have been using rocket artillery since the 14th century, according to German military engineer Konrad Kyeser's Bellifortis (1405). Derthalen reasonably should have access to rockets, since there's no Africa or India blocking contact with the China-inspired Yellow Empire. Being in contact with the Sultanate of Fulgiyan (a former part of the Yellow Empire) from the mid-17th century onwards should have kept up the development of rocket technology. There's also nothing stopping Rhodellian tinkerers and inventors from doing their own experiments in the context of the Commonwealth's predicament. I'd wager that Rhodellia's in just as good a position as the Indians when it comes to producing rockets for warfare. I can make up a good story for this too.
  8. Nation in Europa: Kingdom of Rhodellia Flag: Factbook link: Newsroom link: Culture: The base "Rhodellian Culture" is a mix between American, German, British, and Native American cultures. Besides that, there are also major influences from Cadia (from Warhammer 40k), Sparta, Australia, and the Collectivistic cultures of eastern Asia (e.g Philippines, Japan, and China). There are other Eurth cultures present as ethnic minorities, such as Derthaler, Kirvinska, Lysian (from Shffahkia), and Fulgistani. Rhodellia is a very diverse and cosmopolitan society. Climate: The climate is generally mild and temperate, with significant variation depending on latitude and local terrain Preferred Location: Aurelia Key Red Line - Rough suggestion for national boundaries Red Dot - Capital City (Gottesberg) Orange Dot - Port City Yellow Dot - Major City Timeline of Important events (W.I.P): As Derthalen's Rhodellian Colonies 1482 - Martin Waldseemüller, a Derthaler explorer, sets sail to find an alternative westward route to Thalassa and the Orient (which does not involve going through the Keelpijp, Ygros Sea, Verde Sea, or Argic Ocean). He never finds this rumoured passage. Instead, he "discovers" some "unclaimed" land overseas. He thinks that Derthalen should colonise it before another country does. He calls the land "Rhodellia" after his expedition's main sponsors: the House of Rödel. 1483 - Waldseemüller's contacts in Derthalen begin a large colonisation drive. They promote Rhodellia as a "Working Man's Paradise" and a "Land of Opportunity", free from the corruption, nepotism, and monopolies of Derthalen's established orders. Thousands of Derthaler colonists - almost all of them being freemen, urban burghers, and modest minor nobles - are shipped in from Argis. The original four "Coastal Colonies" of Friedrichstadt (now Königsheim), Janbourg, Rabesheim (now Rabeswalde), and Grauhagen are founded by different members of the House of Rödel. 1483 to 1500 - Colonists encounter Native Rhodellian tribes for the first time. Many are friendly, and are willing to trade and make alliances. Others identify the colonists as "pale demons", ancient, white-skinned monsters (earlier Colonists that preceded the Derthaler's arrival) that will bring war and plague upon the land. With the help of their newfound allies, the Colonies engage in numerous skirmishes and wars against their hostile neighbours. The Colonies militarise. They expand deeper inland; thousands of natives are displaced in the process. Derthaler victories in King Penrod's War (1483 - 1489), The Raven Forest War (1484 - 1487), and The Final Stand of the Greyhawks (1483 - 1486) establish a firm Derthaler hegemony over the coastal regions surrounding the Colonies. In the process, the colonists adopt the "Skulking Way of War" (essentially asymmetric warfare) from their native allies and enemies. It becomes a pillar for colonial military doctrine. 1484 - The first gunsmiths and water-powered powdermills are set up. The knowledge and expertise to manufacture rifled arquebuses is imported from Derthalen. Rifles would quickly become one of the Colonies' most popular and lucrative exports to other countries besides Derthalen. However, their high production/maintenance costs and fragility prevents rifles from catching on among ordinary colonists of modest means. 1485 - Derthaler colonists are surprised to discover the existence of developed Native Rhodellian civilisations. These natives have cities, paved roads, calendars, horses, metallurgy, and even gunpowder. However, the Colonies were still decades ahead in technology. The Colonies made a point of maintaining strong communications and trade relations with them. This was facilitated by two large rivers dubbed the "Westfluss" (Western River) and "Ostfluss" (Eastern River), allowing for cheap and easy transit of goods and people. 16th century - Derthaler pioneers move away from the coastal colonies to settle "unclaimed" territories far away from the coast. They primarily use the Westfluss and Ostfluss to transport people, equipment, and supplies deeper inland. The pioneers would discover greater sources of fur pelts, expanding the Rhodellian fur trade by several magnitudes. The Derthaler and their allies end up displacing tens of thousands of Native Rhodellian people in even more conflicts. At the very least, they now dominate the fur trade. With more goods to sell than just weapons and armour, the Colonies start engaging in more international trade. Derthaler merchants would operate in the Yellow Empire and in a few Thalassan states up to the mid-16th century. Unfortunately for them, the Yellow Empire imploded, and the aforementioned Thalassan states adopted isolationist policies. 1542 to 1571 - Despite losing in the early stages of the conflicts, Derthaler pioneers win hard-fought victories in the Great Plains War (1542 - 1550) and Lajos' Rebellion (1563 - 1571). The local hegemon of the Great Plains, the Great Plains Confederacy, collapses in the process; its lands and resources are quickly scooped up by opportunistic pioneers. A new Derthaler hegemony would be asserted over this flat area pioneers dubbed "The Great Plains". 1580 - The Alleman Doctrine crops up in Derthalen. It most likely originated in the Rhodellian Colonies, where the progressive ideals of Humanism and egalitarianism were already deeply ingrained in colonial culture. Rhodellia is far enough from Derthalen to evade scrutiny from the main Inquisition headquarters in Argis. 1600s - High-circulation gazettes, newspapers, and magazines start appearing across the Colonies. 1608 - Derthaler colonists run out of "unclaimed" land to settle. They are now surrounded on all sides (bar the ocean) by Native Rhodellian countries with established borders. Inland settlements break off from the Coast to become the "Inland Colonies" of Westfalen and Ostmarken. 1610 - The New Rhodellian Army is formed to combat the threat of Kimsantinsuyu. Today, May 5 is celebrated as "Armed Forces Day". The original Bank of Rhodellia is founded to help fund the new centralised military. 1611 - The Rhodellian Military Academy is founded. 1616 to 1617 - The "First Valley War" against Kimsantinsuyu ends in a decisive Derthaler victory. Kimsantinsuyu - which originally consisted of the Westfluss and Ostfluss river valleys - is thrust into a period of civil war. The Battle of the Bottleneck (1617) sees Rhodellian troops experiment with trenches, landmines, and early flamethrowers. The new Colonies of Grünthal and Oberthal are founded in annexed Kimsantinsuyu territories. The Kirvinska troops that fought alongside the Derthaler (approximately 14,000 of which survived the entire war) are allowed to settle in the Colony of Grünthal. As of 2019, the Kirvinska community in Rhodellia numbers at roughly 500,000 individuals. 1620s - Rhodellia's own Agricultural Revolution begins. As the Rhodellian Commonwealth 1643 - The Colonies formalise their political and economic union as the "Rhodellian Commonwealth". Today, Rhodellians celebrate February 11 as "Commonwealth Day". 1644 - The Rhodellian Naval Academy is founded. 1650 to 1654 - The downfall of Kimsantinsuyu - a major power in the Rhodellia region - rings alarm bells. During the "First Coalition War", several Native Rhodellian countries band together to destroy the Commonwealth before it reaches critical mass. The Commonwealth wins, seizing more land, and cementing its position. Mid-17th century - International trade is on the rise again. Clear trade relations are established with the Sultanate of Fulgiyan. Meanwhile, more attempts are made to trade with the Empire of the Setting Sun and Kipan. Both attempts end in failure. The Empire of Setting Sun is still isolationist. Variota is still the only foreign country allowed to trade with Kipan. 1671 - The Rhodellian Army and Navy adopt the plug bayonet. Today, Rhodellians celebrate July 2 as "Bayonet Day". 1676 to 1681 - The "Second Coalition War" is fought. The Commonwealth wins again, seizing even more land. 1692 to 1699 - The "Samosetian Deluge" is fought between The Commonwealth and a neighbouring empire led by a nigh-undefeated ruler. He is known as Samoset The Conqueror. Samoset almost succeeds where earlier Native Rhodellian coalitions failed, piercing the Commonwealth's defensive line of star forts and pushing into Derthaler-owned territory. As Winter approached, the Derthaler sent a Fulgiyan merchant to distribute smallpox-infected blankets to the invading army. Samoset then dies (along with most of his army) when his camp is ravaged by disease. The Commonwealth then launches a counter-offensive the following Spring, conquering much land from Samoset's decapitated and crumbling empire. 1694 - The Rhodellian military martial art of "Bajonettkampf" (bayonet-fighting) is born. In its original manifestation, it mixed techniques from Derthaler martial arts, Native Rhodellian martial arts, Yellow Empire "kung fu", and some Thalassan Bujutsu. The invention of Bajonettkampf would kickstart the Rhodellian "Golden Age of Martial Arts", which would last until the late 19th century. 1700s - The Enlightenment spreads to the Commonwealth. 1701 - The Rhodellian Military University and Rhodellian Naval University are founded. Meanwhile, socket bayonets are introduced to both the Rhodellian Army and Navy. 1702 - The Rhodellian Army establishes its first "Jäger" units. 1706 - Rhodellian Army Jägers see widespread action in the "Fifth Valley War". Rhodellian historians credit them with employing "early ghillie suits" to evade detection from enemy forces. 1725 - Rhodellian troops are deployed abroad to fight alongside Derthalen in The First Great Northern War. It would be the largest overseas deployment of Rhodellian troops until the First South Mark Invasion of Derthalen in 1972. 1725 to 1727 - The Commonwealth wins the "Third Coalition War", grabbing some more land. 1736 - The Commonwealth finally ends Kimsantinsuyu in a coup de grâce called the "Seventh Valley War". Almost all of Kimsantinsuyu's former lands in 1617 have been swallowed by the Colonies of Grünthal and Oberthal. 1750 to 1753 - The "Fourth Coalition War" results in the Commonwealth getting some more land. It has now conquered all the way up to a third major river, dubbed the "Nordfluss" (Northern River). 1760s to 1900s - Rhodellia starts its own Industrial Revolution. 1770 - The "Workers' Revolution" succeeds, resulting in far-reaching government reforms. Property ownership was abolished as a requirement for voting in Parliamentary elections. All male Commonwealth citizens that were at least 18 years of age are granted the right to vote. There's no mention of female suffrage. This angers female citizens, who began their own "Suffragette" movement. 1775 - All female citizens of the Commonwealth aged 18 and over are granted the right to vote, so long as they become eligible for the draft. 1775 to 1786 - The "Victory Canal" is constructed, creating a large, artificial waterway connecting the Westfluss and Ostfluss rivers. 1794 to 1799 - The "War of The Grand Alliance" is fought between the Commonwealth and a "Grand Alliance" of Native Rhodellian nations. Commonwealth troops hold the line in a large-scale "turtling" strategy. The Alliance throws wave after wave of troops at Commonwealth star forts situated along the Nordfluss river, bankrupting itself of both money and manpower in the process. Commonwealth troops later cross the river in a massive counter-offensive, winning the war (and lots of land). Rhodellian troops also begin using rocket artillery for the first time. The Commonwealth now owns the entire "Rhodellia" region that was originally outlined in the 15th century. Citizens of the Commonwealth begin referring to themselves as "Rhodellian" instead of "Derthaler" or "Native Rhodellian". First half of the 19th century - To uphold an agreement, The Commonwealth is called into the "Eustachian Wars" by Emperor Eustache I of Shffahkia. The Commonwealth fights in battle against the forces of Kirvina, confident of Rhodellian military experience and innovations. Against everyone's expectations, the Rhodellian Army is actually defeated on the battlefield. It is then forced to withdraw from the conflict. 1828 - The first Rhodellian railroad opens for business. 1833 - The electrical telegraph starts catching on in the Commonwealth. 1859 - A large oil well is discovered under the lowlands of Grünthal, sparking an "Oil Rush" across the Commonwealth. Prospectors find other large oil reserves in Grauhagen, Rabeswalde, and Nordwalde. As the (first) Kingdom of Rhodellia 1871 - The Rhodellian Commonwealth unites into the "Kingdom of Rhodellia." It remains a member state of The Holy Empire of Derthalen. 1901 to 1903 - The "Nordwalde Revolutionary War" teaches Rhodellian troops what happens when you mix trench warfare with barbed wire and machine guns. Rhodellia won, getting a bloody nose in the process. The Rhodellian military used the conflict as an opportunity to pioneer modern stormtrooper and sniper tactics. However, they would not fully blossom until the First Anéantic War. The conflict also saw the widespread use of the modern "Flammenwerfer" (flamethrower) by Rhodellian combat engineers. 1914 to 1919 - The Kingdom and its allies fight the "First Anéantic War" against a second "Grand Alliance" consisting of nearly all of their neighbours. Millions would die on either side. 1919 - Rhodellia loses, signing an armistice with the Grand Alliance. The "Accursed Treaty" would punish Rhodellia for everything it ever did since the 15th century. It resulted in the abolition of the Rhodellian monarchy, forced independence from Derthalen, near-total Demilitarisation, and heavy war reparations for every "Derthaler war of colonial conquest" since 1483. To add insult to injury, Rhodellia would be reverted to its approximate borders as of the Seventh Valley War in 1736. The 1920s are considered to be the "lowest" point in Rhodellian history. As the Republic of Rhodellia 1919 - The Kingdom of Rhodellia is abolished, becoming a Republic instead. A Socialist uprising takes place in the capital city of Gottesberg, intent on overthrowing the weak government. However, Rhodellian troops and "Frei Korps" intervene just in time to crush the rebellion. 1920s - Rhodellia clandestinely begins a process of "Remilitarisation", using "every trick in the book" to circumvent the Accursed Treaty. 1927 - An economic crash hits Rhodellia. 1928 - The Rhodellian royal family secretly returns from exile. 1930 - Crown Prince Frederick von Rödel is elected Chancellor of Rhodellia under an alias. Under the platform of "Making Rhodellia Great Again", his political party secures an overwhelming majority in Parliament. He begins a series of programmes, public works, and financial reforms to facilitate economic recovery following the 1927 Market Crash. 1931 - Construction begins on the Autobahn. 1933 - Rhodellia opens its first high-speed rail network. 1934 - Construction begins on underground metro systems in several major cities. 1935 - Frederick is re-elected as Chancellor. In his inauguration speech, he speaks out against the former Grand Alliance, calling them "inhuman" for the draconian terms imposed by the Accursed Treaty. He cursed the Treaty as demonic and unfair; it held the current generations of Rhodellians responsible for the sins of their distant ancestors. 1936 - In clear violation of the Accursed Treaty, Frederick starts accelerating Remilitarisation. Rhodellian factories begin pumping out ammunition, weapons, tanks, aircraft, submarines, and warships in record numbers. 1936 to 1939 - Rhodellia re-integrates its "stolen" territories under "Anschluß" and "Appeasement". 1937 - The Heer establishes its first Fallschirmjäger (paratrooper) units. 1939 to 1948 - It becomes clear to all that "Appeasement" isn't working. The Grand Alliance renews itself. Its members collectively begin declaring war on the Kingdom of Rhodellia and its allies (including Shffahkia), starting the "Second Anéantic War". It would become the largest conflict Rhodellia would ever fight, and also its most important. 1948 - Rhodellia and its allies win. They begin occupying enemy countries. As the (second) Kingdom of Rhodellia 1948 - Frederick unveils his true identity during a victory speech. He states that his emergency powers will end, and - in keeping up Rhodellian traditions of democracy - that he will stand down in time for the 1950 Election Season. As he steps down from the podium to leave, the crowd starts singing the Kingdom of Rhodellia's old national anthem (a song that been officially banned by the Accursed Treaty since 1919). 1950 - General Elections begin. The Kingdom of Rhodellia is restored. Frederick resigns as Chancellor to reign as King of Rhodellia. 1951 to 1955 - Rhodellia enacts the "Frederick Plan", injecting massive quantities of aid into war-torn countries to hasten reconstruction and reconciliation efforts. Friendships are forged with what used to be bitter, age-old enemies. Sprawling metropolises rise from piles of rubble. Rhodellian occupations end as the countries recover to the point of self-sufficiency. 1950s to 1970s - A "Cold War" brews with Shffahkia. Rhodellia isn't in any state to fight a Third Anéantic War, so it wages proxy wars instead. However, Rhodellian troops are called to deploy into one of these wars. They get their first experience of jungle warfare (and it isn't pretty). The conflict sees the copious use of napalm, helicopters, Wagner, and Creedence Clearwater Revival. 1960s to Ongoing - The "Nordwalde Troubles" begins as a draft riot, but - due to the Rhodellian government's mishandling of the situation - gradually escalates into a full-blown Separatist insurgency. Late 1960s to 1970s - The "Kung Fu Craze" hits Rhodellia. Wuxia flicks from the Madrian area of Fulgistan’s Wulumuqi region started flood Rhodellian cinemas, reviving nationwide interest in martial arts. 1975 - The "Spartan Protocol" is founded to increase the number of Rhodellian adults that are qualified for conscription should the draft be reactivated in the future, succeeding previous government programmes oriented towards the same the goal. 1978 to 1981 - Rhodellian troops are deployed to help repel the First South Mark Invasion of Derthalen. 1978 to 2001 - The "Physical Readiness Protocol" is established to encourage fitness and physical activity in the Rhodellian youth. 1979 - Rhodellia opens its first Maglev line. 1980 - Nordwalde Separatists storm a Rhodellian government building, capturing it before the majority of the staff could fetch their rifles from the locker room. The terrorists threaten to start executing hostages if certain political prisoners are not released within the next 24 hours. The Heer responds "We don't negotiate with terrorists", deploying special forces to storm the building and eliminate every terrorist inside. They succeed without a hitch. The siege was broadcasted on national television, bringing "Spezialkräfte" into Rhodellia's popular imagination. 1990s - The Rhodellian anime community is born. 1981 to 2011 - Rhodellian troops are deployed to help Derthalen in the Third Pacification Crusade. 2002 - The Physical Readiness Protocol is renamed the "Citizen Athlete Initiative" (CAI) and put under the Spartan Protocol. The combat-oriented department of the Spartan Protocol is reorganised as the "Citizen Warrior Initiative" (CWI). 2004 - The Murder Cube materialises in the mortal realm. 2000s - Social media, console gaming, and PC gaming are catching like a wildfire. Broadband internet has already practically replaced Dial-up internet. Late 2000s - Smartphones begin rising in popularity. Anime is starting to find a mainstream audience. It helps a lot that fibre optic broadband is being introduced to most areas. Early 2010s to Ongoing - Historians are beginning to identify a "Meme Revolution". Rhodellia's youth are becoming increasingly globalised through the internet. Pop culture is now also being influenced by happenings across the globe. Another side effect of this is that more Rhodellians are becoming fluent in foreign languages to better-communicate with international communities on the internet. Meanwhile, VR is becoming more than just a "gimmick" as more gamers (and even the Military) are buying into it. 2012 - Rhodellia is now one of the world's biggest consumers of anime. 2013 to 2016 - Rhodellian troops are deployed to help Derthalen repel the Great Barbarian Invasion of Meinitzmark. As of 2019, Rhodellian troops are still deployed in a low-intensity war against various "techno-barbarian" warlords and states. 2018 - “Thank You” - a charity concert organised by the Rhodellian Veterans’ Association to raise funds for veterans with amputations, mental trauma, and other complications that came as a result of their service to the kingdom - raises over $118,000,000 in donations.
  9. History: The Late Colonial Period (17th century) It was the turn of the 17th century. The Rhodellian Colonies were growing richer and larger than ever before. Now industrial powerhouses in their own right, the Colonies were exporting all sorts of goods back home to Derthalen. Farms supplied the homeland with shiploads of wheat, corn, and potatoes. Plantations produced beet sugar, tobacco, and cotton. Artisan guilds manufactured swords, armour, muskets, cannons, and warships to feed the Derthaler war machine. Meanwhile, the Colonies pushed their own aggressive expansionism to new heights; through the power of gunpowder and cold steel, generations of well-armed pioneers had personally seen to the ‘physical removal’ of most hostile tribes from their own lands. They tamed the wild frontier into a countryside of agriculture and industry. It was hard to imagine that, mere decades before, natives and settlers waged bitter wars of extermination for the exact same soil. Waves of pioneers continued to settle further and further inland. The pioneers eventually split off from the Coastal Colonies, forming the Inland Colonies of Westfalen and Ostmarken. The Coastal Colonies would continue their own territorial growths further along the Rhodellian coastline. Derthaler colonial expansion continued until 1608, when Derthalen finally ran out of ‘unclaimed’ land to grab. Rather than scattered, primitive tribes, on all sides the colonists now faced down the borders of actual countries. Things would be different from here on out. Friendship ended with Kimsantinsuyu The New Rhodellian Army The First Valley War, and the Battle of The Bottleneck Annexing Talreich The Birth of the Rhodellian Commonwealth
  10. History: The Early Colonial Period (15th to 16th centuries) Discovery The First Colonists Early encounters with indigenous peoples Wars with the Woodland Tribes, and the “Skulking Way of War” Derthaler Pioneers, the Great Plains, and "Manifest Destiny" Lajos’ Rebellion, and the "Stolen Generation"
  11. This is another snapshot into the civilian lives of Rhodellian citizens. This one specifically focuses on five mostly working-class university students studying in Gottesberg, the capital city, in the Rhodellian state of Königsheim. In contrast, the previous one I wrote was about two people from the Rhodellian state of Janbourg visiting Gottesberg to spectate Militärfestival 2018. In this sample RP, the five students are starting their long commute across and out of the capital to reach a popular campsite located in the countryside. Do note that they're not necessarily speaking English. I'm just choosing to translate them like this to better communicate intent and the variety of styles of speech between the urban working classes. Gottesberg, Rhodellia It was the early hours of the morning. The sky was still dark with the sun only starting to peak over the glass and concrete skyline. To the convenience of five university-age students - four boys and one girl - hauling carbines, tactical load bearing vests, and assault packs, most commuters had yet to start their morning rush hour. Most people out on the streets this early were local servicemen and women performing independent morning PT on their own. Besides them were the "early bird" commuters who either dreaded claustrophobia or had to travel to an opposite end of the city for work. And so, the Gottesberg Underground station “Lettow-Vorbeck” was nowhere near as packed as usual; they saw only a couple dozen or so early birds queuing up at the ticket barriers, with about a dozen more lining up at the self-service ticket machines and tills. It didn’t take too long for the group to get their tickets, pass through the ticket barriers, descend a long escalator towards the Fegelein Line, and reach Platform 3 early enough to catch the next Northbound train. The group leader, Edward, glanced towards the electronic platform display. ‘ETA for the 0530 train is four minutes’. His friends moved from close behind. They weaved in between other commuters, and apologised to the odd few they'd accidentally whack with their assault packs. After navigating halfway down the platform, they found an empty row of metal seats. ‘At least this bench is empty. Guys, let's set down our stuff over here while we wait.’ ‘Noice.’ Decker took off his assault pack, tucked his rifle between his knees, and sat back on an end chair. The rest filled up the other spaces. ‘Ay. Jonas, Emil.’ ‘Yeh cuz?’ Jonas nodded up and nudged Emil. ‘I’m bored. Let’s play a game.’ ‘Sure, mate.’ Decker leaned towards them. ‘Listen up: Erika Wittman, Aloysia Kalss, and Emilia Seibold. F*ck, Marry, Kill?’ Jonas rubbed his chin at an advertisement on an opposite platform: it marketed four-eyed “Generation 4” night vision goggles (which looked very similar to the ones worn by the Rhodellian commandos who, only a few days prior, cleared an entire Separatist command bunker to assassinate a high-ranking tribal Separatist leader in Nordwalde). Emil scratched the back of his head. Alice glanced up from her smartphone and gave the others a repulsed look. Jonas spoke up first. ‘Aight, so I’d f*ck Erika, marry Emilia, and kill Aloysia. Erika got that “back” you know what I mean? I’d bang her so hard, yeh, that we’d come up on the Richter scale.’ ‘Ah, I see you’re a man of culture as well.’ Edward pitched in ‘I still think Aloysia’s an underrated Panzerfahren ace though. I’d personally marry her instead of Emilia.’ Emil shook his head to Jonas, laughing. ‘You do realise that Erika’s 16 and you’re 21, you utter nonce.’ ‘Yeah but she’s still perfectly legal according to both state and national laws, mate!’ ‘There’s still a five-year age difference between you both, so you’re still a flipping nonce.’ ‘You for real bruv? You telling me that if a peng bird like her walked up to you and started chirpsing, you’d pass her up? About time you came outta the closet you massive homo.’ ‘Mate I’m as straight as a ruler!’ ‘A bendy one.’ Edward applauded. ‘Congratulations Emil. You played yourself! Of all the things you could’ve replied with…’ he clapped even harder ‘...you just had to pick the one even secondary schoolers are smart enough to avoid!’ ‘Well done fam.’ Decker chuckled ‘Aight, I reckon we oughta change games now.’ ‘Aw why man?’ Emil asked ‘I was just about to say mine. It's jokes!’ ‘Trust fam I wanna hear it, but look at Alice. She’s well shook.’ he nodded towards Alice, who had somehow gotten up and moved away from the boys to an opposite row of seats (without anyone noticing to boot). Decker laughed ‘You alright there Alice?’ Alice took off an earphone, smiled, and looked up from her smartphone again. ‘You lot are disgusting pigs. Honestly, yeh, I'm having second thoughts going camping with you!’ Edward replied. ‘You’ll be alright Alice. Just sleep with your back to the tent wall!’ ‘F*ck’s sake.’ Alice simply laughed and went back to scrolling on her phone screen. Decker turned back to Emil. ‘Ayo Emil, since you wanna say something so bad… Here’s one for you: Bait out the biggest sket you know. Full name, address, phone number, credit card details, social security number, all that shit ya get me fam?’ ‘Bruh. Bait-out vids have been rinsed for years.’ ‘Innit cuz.’ added Jonas ‘We be living in 2018 now, not 2016 you prehistoric caveman.’ ‘C’mon man just do it. Do it for the bants.’ Decker slapped his hands together, and pleaded. ‘For the bants?’ Emil paused ‘Alright then so… biggest sket I know, yeh? Initials Anton and Richard.’ ‘A.R…’ Decker pondered ‘Ain’t that your ex from college?’ Emil shook his head. ‘Nah mate. This’ a different one.’ ‘Noice! What ‘bout the rest doe?’ ‘Ha ha! Naaaaw, man.’ ‘Why not my man?’ ‘That’s bare deep bruv I can’t bait that out!’ Jonas joined. ‘You’re well dry you know that bruv? Help a mandem out. At least tell us her Insta.’ Emil nodded. ‘Alright I can least show you that.’ ‘We’re just having a laugh my bruddah!’ Decker chuckled ‘So what’s she like?’ Spill the beans!' Emil took a deep breath ‘Aight yeh... so this girl’s a proper sket, like… On the real, she bangs like ten boys a week bareback.’ ‘Bruh that’s grim.’ Decker’s jaw dropped 'She be spreading STIs like it's Plague Inc.!' ‘It’s absolutely flippin’ disgusting, yeh. Back in July, I went skiing with her in Gottesthal. Our entire hotel was proper dyin’ of herpes cos’a her I swear down.’ ‘Then why ain’t you dead cuz?’ ‘Man’s smart and wears protection innit.’ Emil knocked on the plate carrier he wore over his shirt. Jonas leaned in again. ‘Oi. What’s her post code? Ya boy’s getting a medical discharge tonight!’ ‘From spitting bars to spitting blood. Bloody hell Jonas that’d be one hell of a career path.’ ‘To be fair though, with her body count, this Bad B probs knows how to have a banging time. Man don’t care if he gets mega-chlamydia. Allow “Taps”. Play “No Regrets” and sick beats at my funeral!’ ‘Oh my days fam… You’re well thirsty you know that?’ ‘Yeh and?’ ‘Heh, you’re an absolutely disgusting degenerate Jonas.’ Edward chuckled towards the electronic platform display ‘Yeh and?’ Jonas repeated. The rest were still too busy laughing to say anything back (with the sole exception of Alice, who remained silent). ‘That’s what I thought.’ The subway train rolled into the station. The group stood up from their seats, strapped on their assault packs, and picked up their rifles. Edward beckoned the others over to his position. ‘Alright boys let’s cut the meme’ing.’ He watched the lights of the forward-most carriages whizz past. ‘Oh look, they’re pretty empty.’ ‘It’s five in the morning mate of course they’re all empty.’ Emil patted him on the shoulder. A carriage door stopped directly in front of them. ‘Calculated.’ grinned Edward. The glass safety barrier and carriage doors beeped and automatically slid open. The group strolled right on through, followed in by other fellow commuters. There weren’t a lot of others in the carriage. Among the more conspicuous were three builders wearing orange high-vis PPE and white hardhats. Chatting to them were five soldiers wearing full battle dress, kevlars included. The soldiers seemed to be complaining about how their unit's not getting deployed to Nordwalde, and how they didn't get to spend their Christmas season smoking some uppity tribesmen in the face for disrespecting their country. The builders expressed similar sentiments, stressing above all that if only they knew Nordwalde would blow up again so soon they'd have re-enlisted as combat engineers instead of becoming civilian contractors. Elsewhere in the carriage were three secondary school-age kids showing off their rifles, bragging about their shot groupings in school, and whose family members had the coolest MOS. A couple of foreign tourists were also in the same carriage and in some of the others. The tourists appeared to keep to themselves, probably intimidated by the fact that practically every Rhodellian chooses to carry either a gun, knife, or most likely both on their person at all times. Decker unstrapped his assault pack and took his seat, followed by Alice, Jonas, and Emil. Decker looked up at Edward, who was still wearing his assault pack and preferring to stand. ‘Oi Ed, so how 're we getting to the campsite again?’ 'Let me check...’ Edward opened up his smartphone. He managed to connect to the Underground station’s free Wifi and search up his route just as the train was departing into a tunnel ‘So… Going over our route again… We’ve got five stops left on the Underground.’ he pointed up at the Underground map for the Fegelein line ‘We’re changing at Wilhelm II Station. From there, we’re taking Maglev train to Manstein Park station. Using the Guderian Line, that is.’ ‘Guderian Line? I swear if we're going to Manstein Park it’s faster to take the Ludendorff Line.’ ‘About that…’ Alice looked up from her phone again ‘I already said it on the group chat, but umm... there’s basically massive railworks going on there until February.’ Edward nodded. ‘Yeah. But who knows? Maybe if there aren’t any scheduled delays on the Ludendorff Line’s timetable we can take that line instead. Alice, go search up "Ludendorff Maglev Line delays" when you connect to the station Wifi at our next stop’ ‘Sure thing Edward.’ Alice went back to her phone. Decker nodded a few times. ‘Aight that’s safe. What time's our train?’ ‘Yeah, so if we’re still taking the Guderian Line… when we get to Wilhelm II station we’ll need to take the 0600 train on Platform 4.’ ‘0600?’ Decker stretched his legs ‘Mate, we’re legit gonna have to pace it.’ ‘Mhm.’ Edward agreed ‘Good thing we’ve never skipped leg day.’ ‘Yeah it’s chill bruv. We’re all gym lads. Man’s never got a failing PT score in secondary school or college. I ain’t mucking up my record now ya get me?’ ‘I haven't suffered the disgrace of failing PT scores either. So yeah, when we get to Manstein Park we’ll be changing again onto the GNR high-speed train going north…’ Edward paused ‘Hey Alice?’ ‘Yeah?’ Alice looked up ‘Where are we getting off on the high-speed train? Closest stop to Carius National Park. Preferably with a bus station directly going to our campsite’ Decker seconded that. ‘Yeah. Allow having to haul this gear all the way. I already did my Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum Duke of Edinburg awards in school. Doing a fifth one would be bare effort.’ ‘Hm…’ Alice recalled her memories ‘I think that would be Macharius station. That’s where my brother and his mates got off when they went camping last November.’ ‘Alright. Macharius station it is. Cheers Alice.' Emil looked up from his seat, seeming a tad concerned. ‘Yo, Ed. You know Carius National Park? Bruh I swear it used to be like, an actual military training ground. My dad was in the 12th Panzer Division, and his unit used to train there a lot. The place must be radioactive as hell with all the depleted uranium lying about.’ Alice looked up from her phone again. ‘Emil. Uranium-238’s got a really long half-life. We're talking billions of years. I remember, like, in secondary school... our teachers taught us that the main risk from depleted uranium munitions comes from alpha particles. Those don’t go through our skin or our clothes. They don’t travel far through air either.’ ‘So... that means we should be good for the most part, right?’ Emil asked. ‘Yeah.’ Alice nodded‘The government’s also done a lot of cleaning up over there before opening it up to the public. The background radiation, for the most part, shouldn’t be much higher than normal. Do you honestly think they’d screw us over like that?’ ‘Well, our government’s actually not retarded, so... that’s fair enough.’ Emil gave a thumbs up. Edward spoke up. ‘Okay, so here’s what we’ll do… Just to be safe, we’ll avoid anything that looks like a crater made by a 120-millimetre tank gun. Also, keep your Geiger counters on around sites where depleted uranium's known to have been used. Use your mobile data to brush up on their locations in the field if you have to. Pay attention to any warning signs of radioactive or chemical contamination. That way, none of us ends up with Leukaemia like those tourists who ignored all of the signs last year.' ‘That’s safe bruv.’ nodded Jonas, who was fiddling around with his rifle’s optics ‘Oi. Do you reckon the campsite has its own KD range? My new ACOG came in yesterday so I gotta zero it.’ ‘It probably does.’ Edward shrugged ‘I mean, every other campsite we’ve been to had its own KD range, and the one we’re going to was a former military training ground. It’d be a damn crime it didn’t have a KD range’ Decker whistled. ‘Ay mandems. Speaking of crimes…’ he gestured towards the group of three kids they spotted earlier. ‘What is that? What the f*ck is that?’ ‘What…?’ Edward squinted at the group of kids ‘I don’t get it. What’s wro-oh… Yeah, now I see it. Damn...’ Nothing about the kids themselves was out of the ordinary: they looked like the kind of kids that went plinking with friends in the day, played street football or basketball in the evening, and online battle royales at night. The problem lay with their straps: they had so many attachments decorating their rifles that the weapons systems looked as if they were 3D-printed straight out of a video game. ‘Bloody hell…’ Emil rubbed his eyes ‘On the real though, do they honestly think they look allie putting 30 pounds of shit on a 9 pound service rifle?’ ‘They must think they’re hardmen.’ Jonas looked up briefly before going back to servicing his own rifle ‘Kids these days think they’re so allie with their “Tacticool” mall ninja gear. I swear down. It’s flipping annoying.’ ‘Like you can talk fam.’ Decker chuckled ‘Let’s not forget, right, how you also went through a “Tacticool” phase back in secondary. Shit was bloody hilarious. I swear, yeh, you woulda slapped a thermal scope onto a bayonet if your mum gave you the pocket money’ Jonas laughed. ‘Man’s a big boy now, innit. I ain’t about that mall ninja shit anymore. Besides though… 50 metres, 100 metres, 200 metres, 300 metres... I scored higher than you in all my Marksmanship exams, and everyone had to use iron sights for those.’ ‘Ah, shut up fam. At least I actually came first in our area’s Schützenfest last year!’ ‘Bruh, that’s cos you bare sweated it that time around. Nearly every day after lectures, yeh, you’d DM me saying “Oi come outside fam let’s go to the range” and I’d be like “Nah mate. Man's got exams to study for innit”. You are a proper tryhard.’ ‘Gotta do my duty to Rhodellia, ya get me mandem? Moment I start National Service, yeh, I be flexin' on the other crows with my rifle game. Big man ting.'
  12. Separatists launch full-scale assault on military base Alfonse Schmidt, 20 December 2018, 19:68 The violence has escalated. On 18 December, the Nordwalde Troubles reached a new peak after two decades of relative peace: separatist paramilitaries attacked a Landwehr-operated military installation near the district capital of Hohenstein. A “battalion-sized” force of insurgents swarmed the perimeter of Camp Kirstein, manned by reservists of Dieter Company, 3rd Battalion, 72nd Panzergrenadier Regiment of the Heer's 14th Panzergrenadier Division. The United Separatist Front (USF) has claimed responsibility for the deadly assault in a video circulating on social media. The video’s anonymous on-screen narrator credits the insurgents killed in the attack as the “first martyrs of the [wider separatists movement’s] 21st century cause”. The Reichstag sanctioned the deployment of additional peacekeeping troops and Stasi operatives amid threats of further violence. The attack began at 10:32 when a “suspicious-looking” fleet of trucks and cars swerved off a main road towards Camp Kirstein’s eastern perimeter fence. The garrison opened fire, stopping all but one vehicle: an up-armoured “killdozer” truck. It exploded on contact with the fence, punching a gaping hole into the wire. Muzzle flashes lit up the nearby woodlands as a “wave” of insurgents poured out of the shade. It was a mad dash for the newly-opened breach, a full-on infantry charge. They toted fully-automatic carbines, light machine guns, grenade launchers, and rocket propelled grenades. They unleashed an arsenal of improvised mortars, civilian drones dropping remote-detonated satchel charges, and toy RC cars rigged with explosives. They threw everything they had. The garrison eventually stalled the fierce assault under a withering hail of suppressive fire. Mortar crews zeroed in on insurgents pinned behind road embankments. Riflemen returned fire at the eager who peeked out of cover and gave covering fire from the woods, and made quick work of the insurgents’ drones and RC cars too. Snipers sneaked out of the installation to hunt down forward observers and drone operators lurking in the trees. The garrison held out until friendly attack helicopters relieved them. The remaining insurgents routed. The pilots chased them deep into the woods, turning many into pink mist through the canopies. The Department of Defence has since posted online uncensored thermal imaging footage of the helicopter chase. To the pilots’ surprise, the sound of gunfire and explosions had attracted scores of nearby Loyalist paramilitaries. These independent warriors, mostly men and women from the “Nordwalde Tigers” militia (accompanied by a few dozen thrill-seeking tagalongs), fought their own battle in the woods. They routed the Separatists’ rearguard, silenced the mortars, overran the field headquarters, and cut off the enemy retreat. The Loyalist’ actions undeniably saved the lives of many servicemen and women, as well as played a crucial role in scoring a great victory. The Raid on Camp Kirstein lasted three hours. A Battle Damage Assessment (BDA) conducted by foot patrols confirmed 342 insurgent fatalities, reporting no enemy survivors. 27 suspects in Hohenstein and neighbouring areas were later arrested by police in connection to the attack. Though the battle was won, victory did not come for free. 6 soldiers were killed, making the 18 December attack the 24th deadliest attack on Rhodellian troops since the start of the Nordwalde Troubles in the late 1960s. Another 47 soldiers were wounded and medevaced to Hohenstein. 22 Loyalist fighters sacrificed their lives in their assault, with those having underwent National Service set to be buried with full military honours. Another 38 Loyalists are being hospitalised for gunshot and shrapnel wounds. Voices of solidarity echo across the nation. Hundreds of netizens from across Rhodellia are already en-route to Nordwalde just to volunteer in Loyalist paramilitaries, with many more predicted to follow in the coming months. Chancellor Theobald Michaelis called 18 December a “black day” for Rhodellia in a press statement following the attack. King August III posted “...[the separatists] will pay with their blood... for committing crimes against Rhodellia and her people...” on social media. The Underhaus and Oberhaus of the Reichstag began their most recent meetings with a full minute of silence. Flags in every government and royal building, including the Reichstag building and Gottesberg Palace, are being flown at half-mast to commemorate both fallen soldiers and loyalist paramilitaries. Princess Elysse has announced her intent to travel to the Nordwalde District. She is scheduled visit the children of warriors who gave their lives for Rhodellia in the attack. Knights from the Order of St. Longinus, Knights of the Rose, and Order of St. Celestine will be safeguarding her as she visits homes, schools, and orphanages. Trending news Over 100,000 people attended ‘Thank You’ Christmas charity concert to help veterans with amputations and mental trauma Pallamara successfully delivers 6 state-of-the-art ASW Frigates to Kriegsmarine New nuclear power station goes operational in Graustadt, Janbourg Nordwalde Troubles: Hostile tribesmen continue to protest grand opening of high-speed rail expansion Gottesberg International Airport expansions complete following forecasts for growing tourism trend Frederick Jäger, Rabeswalde's Panzerfahren "guerrilla" ace, to become tank crew instructor Stefan Kielberg's "Fur Das Vaterland" epic war drama is a massive Christmas box office success
  13. “Why don’t kids just shoot school shooters?” Rhodellian children perplexed by school shootings Frederick Becker, 16 December 2018 20:04 The foreign indie film All The Other Kids finally debuted in Rhodellian cinemas last Friday after an extensive viral marketing campaign. The thriller-drama follows a group of high school students in their struggle to evade a vengeful student’s rampage across their school campus. Teenagers - scared for their lives - crouch in bathroom stalls, curl up under desks, barricade outward-opening doors, and suffocate through dusty air vents to survive. Gun violence is currently not a major political issue in Rhodellia, but here the film raised many questions about foreign attitudes to firearms and gun violence. Internet discussions on the film soured as over the weekend as some news organisations in the film’s country of origin pushed it as a statement against gun ownership. These statements received widespread backlash in Rhodellia (not only from film critics and academics, but your average Rhodellian netizen too). Gun ownership is not only a legal requirement in Rhodellia, but a central aspect of our country’s recreational culture as well as a patriotic duty. Film critic Walther Braun argues in his column (published in film magazine Notebooks on Cinema): rather than just an attack on gun ownership, All The Other Kids is actually a social commentary on other issues prevalent in the film’s country of origin. These include but aren’t limited to: Widespread misunderstanding and social ostracization of perceived misfits Bullying being poorly handled by apathetic or incompetent school faculties The lack of opportunities for social and economic advancement after finishing education The high levels of stress imposed by the demands of modern urban society The poor state of mental health infrastructure offered to people suffering from depression and other conditions All The Other Kids’ notorious rampage only makes up a small portion of the film’s 122-minute runtime. Interspersed between the scenes of violence are dramatic flashbacks of events that would gradually drive the film’s antagonist (known only as “That Kid” by other characters) to commit his killing spree. These range from That Kid’s parents urging him to give up his musical aspirations to focus on future employment, his struggle to find a lasting romantic partner, and his friends’ and teachers’ conscious unwillingness to help him as his mental health deteriorates. Interestingly, the film does not actually hint where or how That Kid obtained a firearm, nor do any characters give it any in-depth discussion. Braun cites these as evidence for his case, effectively dismantling online perceptions that the film’s purpose was to criticise gun ownership. Rhodellian netizens have rallied behind Braun and other film critics and analysts who made similar arguments. All The Other Kids, even if it was hyped into memehood, did not manage to top last weekend’s box office. It was surpassed by Frohe Weihnachten, All Quiet on the Northern Front (2018), Imperial Truth, and finally Stefan Kielberg’s epic war drama Fur Das Vaterland. Nevertheless, All The Other Kids was largely well-received by cinema-goers. Viewers praise its stellar production values for a low budget indie film. They are sympathetic to the tragic character of That Kid, feeling that his “sick” society performed a grave injustice not only to him, but to kids and teenagers everywhere. But more than anything, they're confused by how nobody could defend themselves and how everyone instead depended on the late arrival of armed police officers to save the day. Back on the original topic of Rhodellians’ views on other countries’ gun ownership policies, RNN journalists briefly interviewed several young people who have recently watched All The Other Kids. Friedrich Bauer, 17, when asked about on whether the film was a criticism on gun ownership or not, said “If anything, [the movie] reminds [Rhodellians] just how lucky we are that we can actually defend ourselves.” Stefanie Schulze, 14, when asked about online debates about the film, replied “Why are people in other countries so scared of guns? Guns don’t kill people. They’re just tools. People kill people, and some just can’t figure out why”. Klara Bauer, 10, when asked about whether she believed school shootings like in the film could happen in Rhodellia, responded “School shooters wouldn’t get very far. Literally everyone brings a carbine to school.” Hans Schumacher, 9, when asked about what he thought of the film, noted that nobody else but the police and That Kid had a weapon on hand. He asked “Why don’t kids just shoot the bad guys? Why is everyone a sitting duck?”. These interviews highlight a stark contrast between Rhodellian cultural attitudes towards firearms and that of others. Very few countries have a right to bear arms, and very few can match Rhodellia’s. Here, children are instructed in safe and responsible weapons handling starting from primary school. The rifle is seen as a tool for self-defence, ensuring freedom from foreign aggression. Weekly classes are held to teach students to wield them in preparation for National Service after college. National exams are held to gauge students’ proficiencies and qualify the best for special courses. When the rifle is so prominent in our lives that they’re practically extensions of our bodies, what else can we feel but utter culture shock that others don’t have it as good? Trending news Königsheim clutches Panzerfahren Gold Medal at Finals against Rabeswalde "Brutal" Rabeswalde ambush of Königsheim heavy tank column at Panzerfahren Finals goes viral “The violence has escalated” as refugee caravan fires rocket-propelled grenades at border checkpoint “What is this amateur sh*t?” Border security diffuses improvised bomb left by refugee Border guard receives official commendation for nailing “Refugees Welcome” sign to her machine gun nest Gardener shoots pests with anti-materiel rifle. Judge rules it as “perfectly constitutional” Secondary school children recreate 1:1 replica of historical trench network for history project
  14. Kubism is now an officially recognised religion Alphonse von Wallenstein, 09 December 2018 15:12 Pictured: A young "kommando" paying his respects to the Murder Cube at the Prince Willem Armoury Museum (2004) In 2004, artist Norm Alfred unveiled a masterpiece at the Prince Willem Armoury Museum, Gottesberg. He envisioned his “magnum opus” - hundreds of discarded firearms sculpted into a giant cube - to be the creation of art through the destruction of weapons, a powerful and lasting monument to peace. But as old wisdom tells us, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Alfred certainly saw beauty in his work. It’s a fantastic work of art, after all. However, to the wider Rhodellian internet community, it was beautiful in a different, more grizzly way. The exhibit opened to the general public without much fanfare. But, within weeks, hundreds of visitors were suddenly flocking to see it. These beholders weren’t the daisy-chaining, “kumbaya”-singing hippies Alfred had expected. Instead, his art piece had become the unlikely pilgrimage site of many thousands of young Rhodellian netizens wielding gas masks, meme patches, and old surplus rifles (jokingly referred to as “nuggets”). Each would kneel to the great monolith, offering tributes ranging from cans of Chef Boyardee to “milk for the cornflakes”. Together they would chant “Ave Nex Alea” and "Cheeki Breeki" among other tongue-in-cheek slogans . They saw no symbol of peace, but a tribute to death and destruction. To them, this was their almighty monolith: The Murder Cube, or "kube" for short. Every year, hundreds of thousands of young Rhodellians embark on pilgrimages to the Murder Cube. Pilgrims come from all walks of life. They range from students wishing for the best marks on their school marksmanship exams, to conscripts entering national service after college, to boots praying for success as professional soldiers, marines, airmen, and sailors. Increased traffic to the Prince Willem Armoury Museum has led to the Murder Cube being moved to bigger rooms (twice), road and rail services being upgraded all over the local area, and a bustling local tourist industry capitalising on the year-wide influx of pilgrims. None of this shows any sign of slowing down. What may have started out as an in-joke from some shady corner of the internet has since grown into a staple of Rhodellian popular culture. As of December 6, 2018, 14 years after its creation, the glorious Murder Cube had ascended to new heights transcending that of cyberspace. A new addition appeared on the Department of State’s roster of officially recognised religions: Kubism. News of this grew viral across many social media platforms, with many struggling to believe that worship of the Murder Cube was now, unironically, eligible to be recorded on legal documents. The majority of responses are positive thus far with many Rhodellians internet communities celebrating this development as a cultural victory. On the other hand, many other netizens felt more skeptical, stating that “the joke went too far” and that Kubism’s recent recognition as a valid religion was a "letdown to the many other smaller and unrecognised cultures present in a truly rich and diverse Rhodellian nation”. Regardless of Kubism's official status, countless young devotees will continue to embark on grand pilgrimages just to see their monolith and praise its glorious name wherever they may be. It seems that the Murder Cube, Rhodellia’s unofficial patron deity, is here to stay. Trending news Königheim Man bayoneted over "favourite author" debate King August III "amused" after finding "Kilroy was here" graffiti in his private Gottesberg Palace bathroom Erika Wittmann, Panzerfahren ace and internet sweetheart, receives hundreds of anime-style fan art Bored netizens launch amphibious invasion of island to "avenge the missionary" killed by native tribe Janbourg Man rocks an accordion solo outside of mosque. Goes viral Laurenz von Strauß wins Skeet shooting gold medal at Militärfestival 2018 Rabeswalde Man builds himself a woodland bunker and hides for 10 years to avoid wife's nagging
  15. Gottesberg, Rhodellia A snapshot into a citizens life, at a cultural event. The air cracked and clay shattered. The blue sky turned red with paint. Cheers shook the whole stadium. The athlete responsible - a tan-skinned Creole man whose name read ‘Eztli Schmidt’ on the big screen - grinned at the blood-coloured clouds blowing away in the wind. He shouldered his service rifle and saluted the audience. My buddy sitting next to me, Siegfried, went speechless. You could see him staring, blinking, and rubbing his eyes in confusion. I laughed. ‘Told you it was a “blink and you miss it” kind of thing.’ Siegfried joined the applause as the next athlete stepped up for his turn. ‘I can’t believe you meant it literally.’ Of course he was in disbelief. This was his first time personally seeing the Skeet shooting event at Militärfestival. It’s a whole different experience from watching last year’s replays on the internet. ‘Ten clay pigeons…’ Siegfried watched the current shooter make his way to the stand ‘...all exploding in less than a second from the start...’ he exhaled ‘...just from one dude with a rifle. I swear this guy's got aimhacks.’ ‘VAC banned, amirite?’ ‘Yeah, man!’ Siegfried chuckled ‘Seriously though... this shit is unreal. He’s a real life Global Elite.’ I looked at the big screen. The next shooter was Konrad Reitz, representing my home state of Janbourg. He played for Janbourg’s Skeet shooting team last year. My mates and I watched last year’s finals at the pub. The guy finished as a gold medallist, and the whole bar went full hype. What happened next remains, to this day, a complete blank. He also visited my old secondary school before Militärfestival as a guest marksmanship instructor. Apparently he’s a pretty cool guy. My little sister got her rifle autographed by him, and you can still see it marked on the receiver. Reitz winked at the crowd. He raised his rifle to the horizon. His turn had begun. Ten clay pigeons whizzed out left, right, and centre from every weird angle imaginable. Reitz swung the muzzle. Babababababababababang! Ten red clouds now floated away. Over as soon as it began, just as I expected. ‘Whoa…’ Siegfried pointed at the big screen ‘He’s like point-one-five seconds faster than Schmidt!’ ‘Reitz’s pretty good.’ I nodded with a smirk ‘Clear gold medallist second year running. Easy betting money.’ Applause and whistles erupted all over the stadium as Reitz left for the bench. He shook hands with Schmidt. Both seemed to be having a good laugh, like a friendly rivalry. ‘I wish our shooting instructors back in secondary school were this good.’ Siegfried spoke as the athlete after Reitz began walking up for his turn ‘They were great, don't get me wrong. But this guy's on a whole other level. Imagine all the marks we’d have gotten in our Skill-at-Arms exams if we knew Reitz’s technique.’ ‘Mate, weren’t you still one of the best marksmen in our school year back then? Your shot groupings were tighter than bark on a tree. ’ ‘Yeah, but I was still nowhere near this good. Just watching these athletes play makes I wish I spent more time at the KD range’ ‘Just you wait.’ I reassured Siegfried ‘We’ll be conscripts when we get out of sixth form college in like... half a year. I hear a lot of medal-winners from Militärfestival go on to become instructors in boot camp and Infantry School, training up the next generation of soldiers as lean, green killing machines.’ ‘I’m doing my National Service after Uni though. I’m completing Masters before signing up for military academy’ ‘Ha, f*ckin’ POG.’ ‘I thought you were gonna study economics or something. Didn’t you get an offer from the Gottesberg School of Economics?’ ‘I did, but my dad, grandpa, and great-grandpa were all riflemen. My mum, and grandma were tank gunners. My great-grandma was a sniper. Gotta keep up our country's warrior traditions after a-’ the crowd roared around us ‘-what the hell?’ Siegfried, deafeningly wordless, shook my shoulder and pointed to the big screen. While Siegfried and I were talking, another athlete came up: Laurenz von Strauß. He shot down all 10 clay pigeons point-one-two seconds faster than Reitz. This man was a living aimbot. Judging from the “Ritter von” nobiliary particle in his name, he’s a knight; he’s probably one of those upper class guys descended from back when Rhodellia still legally recognised noble privilege. Strauß saluted the crowds, high fived the remaining, stunned athletes still in line, and shook both Schmidt and Reitz’s hands before sitting down and drinking from a plastic water bottle. This behaviour was the last I’d expect from an upper class guy, and I could already sense the memes being made out of his high fives. ‘Did you see that?’ ‘Well shit.’ I chuckled ‘Looks like I’ve got twenty reichsthaler less out of my bank account the next time I see an ATM… with a short queue, that is. The line-up of medallists for the Skeet shooting final’s been settled. Oh well.' ‘Mhm.’ Siegfried nodded ‘By the way… What time does the Panzerfahren finals take place?’ ‘Uh… I think it’s at fifteen hundred today at King Wilhelm II Stadium. Königheim’s team vs Rabeswalde’s… Twenty tanks versus twenty.’ ‘That’s awesome.’ Siegfried clasped his hands together ‘You know that tank destroyer ace from the Königheim team, who went absolutely f*cking ham last match?’ ‘Yeah. Erika Wittmann. She's exploded all over the internet. Fan art of her's been nuking my Wittier feed since the semi-finals. Even the goddamn otaku have caught on... Not that I have any complaints.’ ‘I sure hope the Königheim team wins. That feel when no panzer ace waifu...'
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