King Elfire greeted the bowing emissaries once they returned from their diplomatic missions to the lands of the continent; each one describing and detailing the results of their negotiations. The King listened thoughtfully, obviously considering the ramifications of these first tentative meetings, until the diplomats finished their briefings to the court. Lord Maedo Murdinball was the first to voice his opinions; a prominent minister and merchant who often took interest in Anicea’s foreign affairs Maedo was seen by many as the nation’s unofficial foreign secretary, a position which had not been filled out of spite following the Alliance’s invasion. “This is excellent news! With the Likome, Indiga and Skibul open to trade and future relations; we can possibly begin laying the groundwork for a future alliance and secure control of the straits. I propose that we immediately send permanent ambassadors to each of the nations so that we can begin negotiations at once.” The dwarf scribbled down some notes as he spoke, “May I present my personal reccomendations for the diplomats to be sent on this task, I feel that – “ Hokum coughed loudly, interrupting his comrade as he began to blabble, “That’s all good and well Maedo, but this matter of the Robualy concerns me. Their coastline dominates the mainland closest to our shores and if they are reluctant to take part in even preliminary talks then the future may not bode well. I would suggest that we continue to strengthen our naval presence beyond our coastal waters, see if we can put pressure on the Robualy to come to the table along with the other nations.” The King nodded in agreement, the access that the Robualy could give Anicea was strategically valuable and could be Anicea’s gateway inland, yet just as much the nation could form a stubborn barrier to any attempts for the kingdom to spread its influence into the continent. Any trade would have to cross through Robualian borders, and suffer Robualian taxes, lest take a costly route further north and – woe behold – if Anicea ever needed to deploy militarily inland, Robualy’s cooperation was all but essential. “Well thought advice General, have the orders carried out, and send another diplomatic mission to Robualy to try and change their minds. I would also like to take some form of action in response to this Terran invasion of Gayur before – “ The King was silenced as the entire room turned to glare at the source of the disturbance, a palace guard running into the throne room, almost forgetting to bow and salute in the King’s presence in his haste. “What is the meaning of this interruption? State your orders or – “ The General’s words fell away as those present looked at the box in the young guard’s arms and the grisly scene that it contained. The King stood out of his throne in shock, as Hokum recognised the features of the diplomat to the Puplori, “By the Gods!”
The captain watched with pride as his soldiers marched in unison into the docks where they began to organise themselves with practise efficeiny, gained not only though years of hard training but a universal sense of pride. Two hundred warriors were assembled below him, their boots thundering and the cries of sergeants echoing across the boarding area as they got their men in line. Meanwhile, an Ironclad approached the shore, the behemoth vessel guided into the port by two small civilian craft that were dwarfed before the intimidating warship. These scenes were being repeated across Anicea as the army was mobilised and embarking on the craft in response to the outrageous acts of the Puplori. The people felt as if their national honour had been called into question and there had been overwhelming support in the parliament for the deployment of the military in order to coerce the Puplori into compensating for their actions. The captain himself came from outside of Aramore, his company traditionally deployed to a fort garrison further up the coast, but upon entering the capital he received the jubilation and admiration of the citizenry who had streamed into the streets in order to witness the first major mobilisation of the Anicean army in decades. The actual details were kept secret by the General high command, but rumours on the soldier’s grapevine told of around half of the forces being called into action – a full 100,000 strong army. “Makes you proud doesn’t it?” The captian stopped short and turned to salute to the colonel who had been observing him, “Aye sir. I’ve seen an Ironclad up close before, let alone travel on one; it’s a sight to behold.” The colonel nodded in understanding, “That it is, I myself haven’t worked with the Navy for years and never this close. We’ve never had the need to deploy to the continent for so long.” The older soldier paused momentarily as he seemed to look back on earlier times, before turning full on to his subordinate, “You are aware that this is supposed to look good Captain? We are sacrificing the efficiency and security for the embarkation in order to increase our publicity. Could I perhaps ask for your opinions why?” The captain was taken aback by the question, although he had realised early on that there was little need for quite so much fanfare, let alone a mobilisation of such scale. It had been plaguing his mind for some time but as a soldier he had learned to push all doubts of orders from above his head to the back of his mind, particularly when they came from this far above his head. Now he found his curiosity piqued, “To be seen sir? Perhaps because we haven’t seen action in so long it’s been deemed time to remind the people of the army?” The colonel listened to the response, “You are correct to a point. All of this,” the commander gestured to the vast array of troops before them, “is supposed to send a message. But not to our own people, to those of the continent and Kolnur: Anicea is strong and willing to take actions when she has been wronged. The Grand Alliance has left a vacuum and already wars have broken out as a consequence, we have to put our foot in the door and prevent the chaos from claiming the Kingdom as well.” The Captain didn’t fully understand what the Colonel was hinting at, he had not heard of any wars on the continent, but communication with the mainland had been difficult ever since the Shadow. “What I’m trying to say, Captain, is make it look good when you get there.”
30,000 Heavy Infantry + 20,000 Arquebussers + 1,000 Mechanical Walkers + 10,000 Artillery batteries board 350 Ironclads in province 66. All 500 Ironclads in province 66 move to sea province 46 (Only if I can board and move in the same turn…not too sure if I’m able).
10,000 Heavy Infantry + 10,000 Arquebussers + 2,500 Artillery batteries each from provinces 67 and 68 move into province 66.
100 Ironclads move from province 68 to province 66.
250 Ironclads move from sea province 6 to sea province 21.
Second negotiation mission sent to Robualy.
Ambassadors sent to Likome, Indiga and Skibul with offers of more trade deals and military co-operation, beginning with the securing of the straits and water provinces between the nations so as to further enhance mutually beneficial shipping.
Condemnation of the Terran attack on Gayur declared, and the Anicean Kingdom respectfully requests that the Terran military withdraw from the smaller nations territory as soon as is possible with both sides sitting down for talks.
The Anicean Kingdom delivers an ultimatum to Puplori: agree to pay compensation to Anicea for the insult perpertrated against them, deliver those responsible for the murder of the Anciean diplomat to Anicea for the deliverance of justice, and allow an Anicean military force to be stationed within their borders. If refused, the Anicean Kingdom would be left with no option but take hostile military action against the Puplori nation and its people.
Anicea sends word of its possible confrontation with the Puplori to its newfound allies, and although states that it would appreciate any assistance, does not insist upon it and rather warns them to bolster the defences along any borders they share with the Puplori in case the aggressive nation attempts to launch any kind of assault.