Dec 02, 2022 2:28 AM
Vanda Nosseo lands on a world that fights a lot of wars.
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Well, they will try asking them to leave first, explaining that this area has voted to join Vanda Nossëo, but if that doesn't work they can teleport them, sure.

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The main army of the Coalition is currently marching on Testeroj, capital of Ljudizem! There are also secondary armies marching in from the south (Vzhoudoun), invading from the east (Simolya), and hanging around up north (Desnau), not to main scattered garrisons, raiders, scouts, and other detachments, and but the main army is headed east.

Its chief commander is Merek Gerontmarkhen, Golden King of Gerontmarkh, but it has detachments from several different coalition members, including Wolcyn. The army is a force of a couple hundred thousand combatants and noncombatants, presently marching in several columns through the farmland west of Testeroj, surrounded by a screen of patrolling light cavalry that is doing a mix of foraging, scouting, and burning, with supply wagons, hovering airships, Aces and artillery in support. Dinot's outnumbered army has been giving ground in the face of their assaults, baiting them deeper and deeper into his territory with the elusive promise of a battle, and so far he has not failed to evade it.

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And in command of the Wolcyn detachment is (brevet) Colonel Leofe Dunne, known in official records as the Starburst Ace or Ace of Hope and by the troops under her as the Bullshit Ace, for reasons that ideally ought to immediately become apparent to anyone who meets her. She has so far not met the aliens (!!!) even though there are aliens (!!!) and this changes EVERYTHING (!!!). She's flown out to visit the nearest Vanda Nosseo shop, which was informative (she now has an Allspeak installation), but she hasn't had much time to investigate and unfortunately this army is a giant disaster zone (Marek Gerontmarkhen has hit on her six times and has managed to offend more than half of his Coalition allies) so after the Clockwork Girl peeled off and took Desnau's contingent with her, Leofe is fairly confident the invasion will dissolve if she isn't there. Which would be Bad, since however sympathetic she is to the idea of any country not wanting to be ruled by the Golden King, the only thing stopping the Admiral from burning down her father's house is the Coalition army, and she does actually like her family and her country and her world! Which is why she's working on a diplomatic coup instead of taking her army and going home.

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The person sent to ask Colonel Leofe Dunne's contingent is an obvious alien (!!!), though one of the budget ones, with blue hair and orbited by a small sphere of turquoise and decked out in futuristic gadgetry. "Good morning!" she calls out.

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Well, Leofe is flying over it, and for an alien she'll swoop over herself!

"Good morning!" she says enthusiastically. (She's a little under average height for a woman, is dressed extremely plainly except for her skirt and battle jacket of solid golden light with a starburst on the chest, with short hair and a broken nose. She's holding a musket, but not pointing it at anything.)

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"I'm Kosent Aputen, and the area just past here's voted to join Vanda Nossëo! Do you need an escort back to undisputed territory?"

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"I'm pleased to meet you, Kosent Aputen! I'm Colonel Leofe Dunne of the Republic of Wolcyn, and the most convenient thing if you could do it would be to teleport me to Wolcyn and then back, so I can confirm the order with the Minister of War." and update the Minister of War at the speed of teleportation.

She'll nod to a teenager (?) with her. "Colonel, the command is yours."

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"I can't personally teleport, but once we've figured out your itinerary I can call in someone who can!" says Aputen. "Ideally I wouldn't leave with just some of you, lest the rest continue towards an area that's joined Vanda Nossëo."

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(The army is currently doing this, as it happens.)

"I see," she says, nodding firmly. "Does this mean they're withdrawing from the Holy League?" She flashes a smile to Aputen. "That will matter for where our itinerary ought to end up."

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"Hang on a sec, I need to stop some people over there!" says Aputen, and she pulls a folded-up golem out of her bag of holding and hops onto it to circle around in front of the advancing line.

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The advancing line... is still advancing? They're marching forwards and have not received orders to halt?

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"Hi there guys! You'll make a lot more progress if I don't have to have someone swing by to teleport you all back home. If you stop where you're at, then if it turns out you can keep going after all, you won't have to start over," says Aputen.

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That gets a laugh and a "Who the hell are you?" from two separate people.

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"My name is Kosent Aputen and I'm with Vanda Nossëo."

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"Halt! Eyes - forwards!"

And the column stops.

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"Thanks!" says Aputen, and she golems back over to Leofe. "Now, where were we?"

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Leofe watches Aputen with grudging respect.

"I was asking whether Ljudizem was going to withdraw from the Holy League," she said drily, "since its charter includes an oath of eternal emnity with all nations who don't sign it."

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"Well, vanishingly few Vanda Nossëo nations have signed it," Aputen says, "and they seem to like us fine. I believe they're discussing how the balance of their commitments fall with some legal experts."

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"That is not quite the same thing as a statement that a Holy League army isn't going to march out of Ljudizem tomorrow, is it?"

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"A Holy League army is not going to march out of Ljudizem tomorrow," says Aputen. "The details are things like whether they can export materiel, whether they have to prevent individual citizens from going abroad to lend support, that sort of thing."

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"I'd like to know whenever you come to a conclusion on that topic," she says, "since it does matter for where we should end up." And for whether every other country they try to liberate is going to end up 'joining Vanda Nosseo' under whatever adventurer Montrege happens to have put in charge there.

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"Mm-hm, the proceedings aren't secret. If you ask me, the most likely outcome is that they'll be able to export metal - it'd be pretty hard within the Vanda Nossëo framework to stop them - but that we don't have to extend legal protection to people who venture outside Vanda Nossëo territory and wind up provoking people there."

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"I see. Thank you." She pauses. "Do you have any experienced soldiers on the committee making this decision?"

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"A few, yup. I hear they complain a lot. The tradeoffs are legitimately complicated when people don't want to put down their grievances, but we're not going to turn to some people who wanted to be part of our thing and say 'now that's settled, you don't have freedom of movement, we aren't going to protect your kids from people barging into your homes, you can't buy and sell all the same things we can, it might affect this war that the other side could stop any moment by joining up too'."

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"That makes a great deal of sense, but it also assumes - a level of good behavior that the League has not held to? If you allow individual citizens to donate money and go abroad, Dinot can just raise enough taxes to make up for his friends donating enough money to hire his army for the League. And then it's just - a League country we can't invade that technically isn't waving the flag."

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