Walking down a dark alleyway Tammuz a 20 year old student in the University of Gabal clutches a 50 Kisp banknote in his hand closing his eyes hiding behind a dumpster. The hardened leather of a Civil Security's boot on the cobblestone street matches the hardened beats of Tammuz's heart as the nose bloodening dings of a steal pipe knocks across the fence posts leading up to the alley. After what feels like five mini eternities the guard passes the alleyway without even a brief glance in Tammuz's direction. A tearful sigh of relief fills the cramped alley. Tammuz quickly regains composure and continues his quest running down the path to a steal door at its end. Tammuz knocks 5 times on the door and then taps 1, 1, 2, and 3 times on the slit. Two piercing brown eyes with sapphire blue eye shadow looks down on him but Tammuz holds up his left index finger with right index, middle, and ring fingers crossing it creating a "𐤎". The door opens and Tammuz and the woman at the door hug before the door is once again shut. "Welcome brother, the others are just this way." Walking down creaking wooden steps Tammuz and the woman arrive to a basement where in the middle a long cedar wood table beckons for Tammuz to sit as he greats the other men and women meeting from the order. Hearing of Baalshillek's fall from the Sophet's grace one member stands and declares "this is our time to act, now the Medamotzah is lodged in controversy we must use this opportunity to act and return Shapash's Republic to Shapash's people." The woman who greeted Tammuz gets up and asks "with what, may I ask? A bit of zeal and a few smuggled pistols, no we must instead use this to spread word of the Sophet's erratic behavior and raise popular support. The last thing the Ambrosian order needs is another high profile attack to drive us further into the shadows." The meeting carries on for several hours with bickering and yelling matches but to Tammuz's surprise the members aren't hurt by the insults and argument but revel in it. This is what we are fighting for after all, Democracy. The discussion is concluded with a vote where it is decided that the order shall use this as an opportunity to spread rumors and propaganda against the Sophet and the Medamotzah. A few days later Tammuz is in his basement speaking into a smuggled radio transmitter calling for the people to wave their fists and call for liberty. When suddenly he freezes. Three hard knocks stop his heart as he attempts to quickly hide his contraband. A loud jolt of snapping wood stabs into Tammuz's soul.
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 Museum (2004)
The Department of State officially recognised Kubism as a religion on Thursday after more than 50,000 Rhodellians (roughly 0.5% of the population) declared themselves as 'Kubists' in the 2018 census. Kubism was (originally) an ironic pseudo-religion centred around the worship of 'The Murder Kube' and the glorification of violence. 'The Murder Kube' is an unofficial name ascribed to an unnamed 2004 art piece created by Peace Movement-affiliated artist Norm Alfred. It is a large, hollow cube meshed together from hundreds of decommissioned firearms. It is currently housed in the Prince Willem Museum, Gottesberg. Alfred originally envisioned the art piece as a lasting monument to peace through the destruction of weapons of war. But as beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, this was not to be. At some point in the late 2000s, an image of the art piece was posted in a 'gun gore' thread on the 'Weapons' board of a popular anonymous imageboard with the intent of shocking its users. It had the opposite effect. Users of the board instead began (ironically) revering it as a pseudo-deity and a physical manifestation of war and violence (past, present, and future). They went as far as to write lore, songs, and slogans in The Murder Kube's name, the most famous being 'Ave Nex Alea'. In the early 2010s, the Murder Kube (along with Kubism) leaked onto the mainstream Rhodellian internet as a popular internet meme aligning with Rhodellia's martial culture and conflict-rife history.
By 2015, Alfred's art piece would eventually become the unlikely pilgrimage site of many thousands of young Rhodellian netizens. They would not be Alfred's fellow Peace Movement activists. Instead, these unintended visitors would come wearing gas masks, plate carriers, and meme patches. They would sling old surplus rifles (jokingly referred to as “nuggets”) on their backs and wear bayonets on their belts. Each would typically kneel to the great monolith, offering tributes ranging from cans of Chef Royardee to 'milk for the cornflakes'. Together they would chant "Ave Nex Alea" or "Cheeki Breeki", among other tongue-in-cheek slogans and pop culture references . They saw no symbol of peace, but a glorious tribute to death and destruction. To them, this was their almighty monolith: The Murder Kube, or "kube" for short.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of young Rhodellians embark on pilgrimages to pray to the Murder Kube. This makes it the Prince Willem Museum's star exhibit as well as one of the most popular tourist sites in the entire country. Pilgrims now come from all walks of life, not just users of the anonymous imageboard where the Murder Kube originally gained traction. 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. This tourism facilitated growth throughout Gottesberg. The Prince Willem Museum greatly expanded its facilities and transferred the Murder Cube into bigger halls of residence at multiple points. The Gottesberg City Council still works to rapidly upgrade road, rail, and tram infrastructure all over Gottesberg to increase their capacity. The city's tourist and hospitality industries expanded to cater to the year-wide influx of pilgrims. None of this shows any sign of slowing. What started out as an in-joke from some shady corner of the internet has since grown into a staple of Rhodellian popular culture.
News of Kubism's acceptance as an officially recognised religion went viral across the Rhodellian internet. Thousands took to social media to express their joy or disbelief. The majority of responses appear positive thus far with many Rhodellians netizens celebrating this development as a cultural victory. On the other hand, many other internet users felt more skeptical, disappointed, or concerned. Alfred himself said in an interview with RNN 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 our richly diverse and multicultural nation”. Notorious conscientious objector and Peace Movement spokeswoman Halfrid Weber said in another RNN interview that "the acceptance of [Kubism] as an officially recognised religion accomplishes nothing. It will only reinforce negative stereotypes about Rhodellian people and culture. Hasn't the rest of the wurld laughed at us enough?". Whatever people have to say about Kubism's new status, countless young devotees (whether ironic or unironic) will continue to embark on long pilgrimages just to see the Murder Kube and praise its glorious name wherever they may be. From the look of things, it seems that the Murder Kube, Rhodellia’s unofficial patron deity, is here to stay.
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KANZLER VON OSTLAND INJURED AFTER ATTEMPTED ASSASSINATION
IN TAVLIGA TODAY THE KANZLER WAS SHOT TWICE IN THE ABDOMEN BY AN UNIDENTIFIED ASSAILANT. The Kanzler was shot at around 10:30 AM as he was leaving Tavliga Palace after a meeting with the Grand Duke. The would be assassin used a handgun to shoot Kanzler von Ostland twice, once in the thigh and once in the abdomen. The man was shot on the spot by Palace guards and is believed to have now died, however another man was seen running from the scene just prior to the shooting, and it is unknown whether he is involved. The Kanzler was rushed to the Royal Wilhelm Hospital by an Army ambulance, where he received first aid. A spokesperson at the hospital stated that the Kanzler was no longer in critical condition but remains unconscious.
This comes after a series of threats from the Rebel group, Native Baltian People’s Army, which advocate for the abolition of the Grand Duchy, and the creation of “ethnically pure” baltian states. The NBPA are against the Dolchic Baltians having the most power and wealth in the country, despite them being the largest ethnic group. In 2007 the NBPA took over the town of Helsing, and killed all of the Dolchic Baltians before Special forces stormed the town hall and took out the fighters. According to Transbaltian intelligence, leader of the NBPA, Miklos Herthon, was ousted in an internal coup last month, the current leader is unknown.
The Grand Duke was transported to an unknown location by helicopter after the shooting, he has not yet returned but is supposed to be making a speech later today. The armed forces have been placed on alert across the country, and two naval destroyers have been recalled from anti-piracy missions. The unknown man running from the scene is still being searched for, and the city of Tavliga is being shut off by police and Landswehr. It is unknown yet who is in control of the government, as there is no official line of succession for the Kanzler. The government is expected to make a statement soon.