“Well I call that idiotic! We could have crushed them! We were about to! And then you go and retreat, just because you don’t respect the Praetoriians enough to defeat them. You Khazars go on and on and on about how weak Praetoriius is and how hard you could smash them, but when it comes to it, you’re too scared. Proper retreat my a*se. I’ll tell you what, if you really believe that the retreat was worth it, then why don’t you come here and explain how clever your leaders’ little idea was to the 347 mothers who just lost a son.” He then hangs up, and places his hands on his face. He gets up and walks to the cabinet meeting room. Then, he walks outside, having assembled the press and resigns.
When word of the first clashes between Khazar Lechians and Praetoriius’s, the whole country goes nuts. The Parliament goes into fierce debate about wether or not intervening and regular people discuss the need for war in cafes and theaters. However, the afternoon edition of the newspaper “ABC” brings a revolutionary article signed by an anonymous author
(OOC: Check it out if you have some time)
Letter to the Government of the nation
I ask you, dear deputies, dear ministers, generals, doges, dear judges, generals, representatives, all of you, who burn in purple and gold, whose hands are hidden under rings and gloves, whose chests are covered with crosses and medals, to all of you, rulers of our nation, I ask you, have you ever stepped on a beach and looked to the sea, wondering what lays behind the sea blue. I ask you if you know that beyond the seas there's a nation, under the name of Praetoriius, ruled with an iron fist by a man with no known name. I ask if the gods told you this despot, surrounded by a camarilla of equally perverse and degenerate counselors, no, excuse me, for they ought to be called henchmen, has oppressed his land for decades and put his people under the yoke of slavery to perpetuate the cruel evils of their tyranny. They do not hesitate when torture comes and this cruel dictator is willing to commit the biggest crimes to surround himself with luxury and stolen riches. His capital, or shall I say his court, has become the new Babylon, a museum of all human and animal vices, where the most abhorrent sins are committed on a daily basis, where the most disgusting of acts fill the chambers of this temple of Hedonism, echoing like the screams of crying angels. This despot, whose hands exude the blood of the innocent, whose feet squash the heads of children and women, whose clothes are soaked with the scent of crime and whose mind is inebriated with the orgy of crimes that is his life, this brutalized and brutal creature seats over a throne of scarlet and silver held over the shoulders of his enslaved nation. This enviced tyrant must be overthrown, yet it is the barbaric Khazars the uncivilized nomads of the esteppes, ignorant of democracy and freedom, stuck in the Dark Ages, the ones that are trying to achieve this noble task, tainting the holy name of Liberty with their ridiculous superstitions and their perverse despotism ...
I ask, have we become so coward, so weak, so hypocritical, that we shall let this nation perish under the yoke of despotism, be it the tyranny of this new Nero, the Archplutarch, be it the tyranny of the murderous Huns? Shall we remain impassive as this people languish under tyranny? Shall we let this land be treated as a slave, as a booty that can be exchanged between cruel men, between Caligulas and Attilas? Shall we not defend the light of freedom for which our parents and grandparents fought so hard? Isn't the duty of civilised peoples to rid the Orb of all the inquisitions and despotisms that condemn its peoples to fanatism and brutality?
If you answer with fear, if hesitation riddles your voice, if you let your throat be choked by cowardice and effeminacy, then you don't deserve to be called men and History will treat you as you deserve for letting tyranny and fanatics thrive just across the sea. But if your answer is right, if you are willing to fight for Justice, if you are willing to destroy Despotism, if you are not hesitant to take up your arms and fight to slay the monster of Tyranny and Barbarity that threatens our region, from both the East and the West, then let Victory cover you with the laurels of glory and let Mars lead you so that Liberty shall finally reign over those enslaved peoples and you, his brave defendors, will forever be kept in the Annals of Time and History will forever remember you with golden letters and golden memory.
The public opinion is changed. The Parliament votes. The King gives the order. It’s time for war.
Word gets out to Thialrer relatively quickly. Precident Knight allies the nation with Mantesa.
OOC: Now you have allies in the war! +1! Note, however, that Thialrer will only send forces to be commanded by Mantesa. Five regiments. A fleet of 100 warships. They and their colonels and admirals are yours to command.
Khan simply nods and they both turn quiet...
When they finally arrive in the palace, they are both taken to the purification room, where they both get the purification treatment. It's not voluntary and when opposed it's done by force... It starts with a bath, continues with trimming body hair, styling the hair on the head, tripping all nails and then drying and oiling up the body during a long massage. After that both of them get their clothes back which are now not only completely washed and dry, but also smell of natural flowers. Yuri was not given her shoes back and Khan was only given a pair of slippers instead of his normal shoes.
Before they are let out, they are taken to the last step of purification where the Khan faces east and starts saying a long prayer in arabic, starting with "I believe" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsEP_QJdE-0), continuing with "Hail Mary" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hg7ie_fjdew) and ending with "Our Father" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mYuHJbh3kA). He then crossed himself and a priest made a similar cross on Yuri... As this is part of the purification ritual, nobody asked for permission...
After that they officially enter the main hall of the palace. The floor here is so clean you can almost see your reflection in it. There is literally no stains or even dust. The floor is warm, which is not expected as there is no rugs. The only signs that the floor is actually used are some foot-prints of other women who walk completely barefoot on it, but a servant can be seen cleaning the imprints.
"Qirka is in her office" says the Khan pointing to a door. "We will have a feast soon, so please tell her about it... The only languages allowed in the palace are Kazakh, Aramaic, Hebrew, Greek and Arabic... Please refrain from speaking any other language... Slavic languages are allowed, but only in unofficial conversations, like the one we have right now" he explains, remembering the incidents with Mantesans completely ignoring this rule...
The Praetoriius government shuts down the Praetoriian borders, nobody is allowed in or out. The Plutarchy issues one last warning that ANY military action against Praetoriius will result in the death of Axel and Saoirse. The two are transported away from the facility to Praesidium Aeternus, and all Praetoriian military units not currently occupied are withdrawn to positions around the Eternal Palace where the captives are being held. All military aircraft have been deployed over the skies of Praetoriius, and all fleets and armadas have been withdrawn to the straits of Eclesos and the capital's harbor. All Praetoriian diplomatic personnel have returned to Praetoriius.
Saoirse and Axel have yet to say anything to each other since the former was captured. They both sit in silence, each with their own corner in the basement of the Eternal Palace. When they first arrived at the understructure, Axel noticed a dirt-covered and mildewy trapdoor on the ceiling. It obviously led to the palace gardens outside, and though it was tempting to escape the basement, Axel knew, as he still knows, that it must be too good to be true. Given his luck, a watchdog is probably guarding the other side.
The Arch-Plutarch himself walks into the basement, with no bodyguards. He looks tired and stressed. He leans against a wall for a second to steady himself, then he sits down cross-legged. He looks down at the dirt ignoring them for several minutes. Finally, he speaks up. In a quiet voice, so different from his usual arrogant tone he asks,
"Would you ever forgive me?"
Saoirse remains silent, only glancing over at the Archplutarch once with a pained expression.
"I am in a conundrum." He says, sighing. "I could let you two go, but in doing that I would resign Praetoriius to invasion. At the moment I will keep you two under our custody, but you will be moved to better quarters."
Saoirse and Axel are moved to a large and expensive guest suite, modified to prevent escape.
The second attempt at attacking Praetoriius commenced with joined armies of Cielearda, Mantesa and Khazar Lechia. Mantesans and Cieleardans were unable to properly fulfill their goals, but Khazar Lechia managed to retake their artificial island and regain their status around it.
PRAETORIIUS OFFICIALLY WON THE SECOND MILITARY CONFLICT IN THE REGION, BUT THIS TIME NOT UNCONDITIONALLY
"May we also have our belongings returned to us?" Axel questions the nearest bodyguard. He grunts and storms out of the chambers, only to return ten minutes later with a metal crate. He returns to his post outside of the suite, leaving Axel to open the crate himself.
Seeing as she has nothing better to do, Saoirse enters Axel's room to assist him in the recovery of their personal items, and after nearly half an hour of struggling, they finally manage to separate the crate from its lid.
Artemis Knight is holding his hand in his hands. He thinks about all that has happened recently in his life. The death of his father. His brother's attempted murder of him. An attempted assassination. It was all just too much. He couldn't take it anymore. The precidency had taken its toll on him. He had been put on antidepressants and been diagnoced with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
He made up his mind right then and there.
He was going to resign his position as President of the Republic of Thialrer.