Jan 27, 2023 12:40 PM
Vanda Nosseo lands on a world that fights a lot of wars.
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"Why is it that it doesn't happen?"

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"Because otherwise there would be anarchy. Look what harm Amraterre did; there are millions dead because of Montrege. Look at the Republicans before him, and all the corpses they left behind. It would be against a king's honor to yield to force, a violation of his pride and of the oaths he has sworn, and so no king will yield, and there is peace when no usurper claims the lands of kings."

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"All right. I reiterate that our goal is zero casualties. We aren't limited to traditional shootouts when defending our interests. There's a person on staff who turns people's weapons into modeling clay. A teleporter can just pop people back into some undisputed territory. Indestructible agents can stand there being shot at trying to talk things out without needing to retaliate in self-defense. We plan to kill zero people. There will be no corpses left behind."

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This... is not actually an argument inclined to persuade the foreign minister?

What he would like to explain, but does not have the words to say because he is from a fantasy cultural counterpart of the 18th century, is, "we made a binding precommitment which we cannot break to escalate force up to the level of total war against anyone who attempted to take territory from us, even if they had a very reasonable excuse, because evolutionary processes meant that no countries that did not make this binding precommitment are still around, and so whoever you talk to would belong to a nation that had made this commitment, and we cannot break the commitment even if you outgun us because it is not a precommitment to sane and rational responses that the countries would actually like to make."

"The traditional method of resolving territorial disputes," he says, "is to hold a Congress of the Nations, to help secure a more lasting peace than one that can be decided by war by the arbitration of the convocation of all the Powers of the world." This in fact requires having a war first, because you can't agree to losing land in a Congress without looking weak, but frankly they have had a war, and they will probably keep having one if Vanda Nosseo doesn't end it by killing them all. So that's really a very good excuse. And it will buy time for them to learn how to copy Vanda Nosseo's terrifying weaponry so they can defend themselves, without actually giving up territory.

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"Well, if we're invited to such a thing, we'll be sure to send someone," says the representative. "It's not obvious that we have the standing to call one ourselves, but feel free to tell me otherwise."

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That... did not involve any sort of admission that they might not just keep on with what they were doing, did it?

"The terms of the Fourth Coalition forbid treating with Montrege on any terms except his surrender, but perhaps if the Emperor and His Majesty of Simolya could be persuaded to amend them..."

Come on, bring up the possibility that we can just discuss this as a concession to stop your nonsense... and buy us some time...

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"It does seem like it would be useful if everyone could agree to talk things out. Are those the only parties who'd need to agree to such an amendment?"

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"All the members of the Coalition would need to agree, but Wolcyn has already sent a request to disarm, and where the Great Powers lead the others will follow." Even if reluctantly; the kings-in-exile know the Coalition has them by the balls, and there's nothing they can do about it.

Though, of course, Gerontmarkh is only a Great Power if it gets back Ljudizem, but it will fall within the year.

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"I'm glad to hear it's not set in stone, though of course my counterparts who are already negotiating with Montrege weren't signatories to begin with."

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GRUMBLEGRUMBLEGRUMBLE 'negotiating with Montrege' grumblegrumblegrumble. (He will Be Polite, but he is Not Happy about this.)

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That's okay. Vanda Nossëo does not have a mandate to make everyone happy, just alive and capable of exercising the franchise!

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Meanwhile, Amraterre is happy to provide an update on their official position of peace with Vanda Nosseo:

They're all for it! His Holiness the Grand Admiral Nicolas Montrege has made his opinion clear: Vanda Nosseo is On Our Side, they have joined the war against the demons and are triumphing swiftly, the angels are their allies, Montrege has no further wish for war, and desires to have everything settled by a Conference of the Powers with the support of Vanda Nosseo, which will defend anyone unjustly attacked. If Vanda Nosseo is willing to send someone to help him turn this into a pamphlet that can be mass-distributed, he's all for it.

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They can sure do that!

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Excellent. Then they can pamphlet SO MANY PEOPLE.

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... Wolcyn has its own position on mass pamphleting. And its own tradition. Its much, much older tradition, armed with genuine competition between pamphlet-writers dating back to the Revolution, complete with constitutionally guaranteed free speech.

How about THE CRIMES OF MONTREGE as a title?

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They can publish pamphlets too? Vanda Nossëo isn't going to, like, stop them, though they aren't generally speaking offering free pamphleting assistance to arbitrary platforms.

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... No, see, if they're spreading Montrege's propaganda, they should ALSO spread the REFUTATIONS of his lies.

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Montrege's pamphlet consists of more-or-less Vanda Nossëo propaganda. If he has lied about anything the refutation of which constitutes Vanda Nossëo propaganda they're all for that?

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Do they mean to say Vanda Nosseo is on the side of the Holy League against the Coalition? Because that's sure what Montrege sounds like to Wolcyn.

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Vanda Nossëo is pro-peace, pro-joining-Vanda-Nossëo, friendly with the angels, victorious over the demons, and in favor of having a conference to resolve things peacefully. They're not on anyone's side against Wolcyn, because they're pro-peace.

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The foreign minister of Wolcyn... may need to explain local language to Vanda Nosseo? If they go around distributing statements from the Grand Admiral saying that he had a divine vision that Vanda Nosseo was on his side, that is a statement that Vanda Nosseo endorses his claim that he has divine visions and thereby supports his policies past and present. His policies include conquering the world. He recently changed these policies to "conquering the world was a very good thing until a totally unexpected factor changed this" but distributing pamphlets he writes strongly suggests that he has backing from Vanda Nosseo, not just that he backs them, and if he has backing from Vanda Nosseo then Vanda Nosseo supports his attempts to subjugate all free nations under the rule of a single tyrant.

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Well, they did verify that he was talking to angels. Though they are robot people not divinities if you want to get technical. Is there a way besides distributing pamphlets the contents of which they don't endorse to clarify the extent to which they are aligned with Montrege?

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... I'm sorry, what?

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Which part of that needs clarifying? He was in contact with an angel; they went and met the other angels; they're not magical but are instead artificial intelligences created by living precursors who were wiped out by the demons.

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... He was in contact with strange artificial people?

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