The Empire Strikes Back – Dramatis Personae

Non-Player Characters
Empress Veronica – absolute ruler of the Empire
Prince Yevhen of Ukraine – married to the Empress, died 14 December 1861
Princess Veronica – Born 21 November 1840, married to Frederick, Crown Prince of Germany
Eight children, Six still living​
Prince Alvértos – Born 9 Novemeber 1841, married to Princess Alexandra of Scandinavia
Six children, Five still living​
Princess Alíki (deceased) – Born 25 April 1843, married to Louis IV, the Grand Duke of Thuringia
Seven children, Five still living​
Prince Alfrédos – Born 6 August 1844, married to Grand Duchess Maria of Ukraine
Five children​
Princess Elena – Born 25 May 1846, married to Prince Christian of Denmark
Six children, Four still living​
Princess Louiza – Born 18 March 1848, married to John Tudor, Duke of Kent
Prince Artoúros – Born 1 May 1850, married to Princess Louise Margaret of Germany
Two children
Prince Léon (deceased) – Born 7 April 1853, married to Helene Friederike of Burgundy
Two children, two still living​
Princess Veatriki – Born 14 April 1857

Player Characters

Patrikioi Members

Kyriakos Angelos (Arakhor)

Introducing Kyriakos Angelos, a noble of Thessaloniki and proud member of Patrikioi, born 14.10.1804. He’s a good, old-fashioned, ‘benevolent imperialist’; Rhomaion knows best, naturally.

Michelangelo Favero (Michaelangelo)

Introducing Michelangelo Favero, born 9 August 1800 to a rich upper class family in Venezia. He is a member of the Patrikioi and is a strong advocate of expansive imperialism and a powerful military. Michelangelo is slightly at odds with the rest of his party because of his Italian roots, but he speaks Greek and identifies as one as well.
Granted the title of Duke and Governor in Italy for his heroics during the attack on Constantinople.
Kyriarchía Members

Constantine Panaretos (PrincepsAbsolut)

Announcing Constantine Panaretos. Born April 12 1815 a wealthy aristocrat. A member of theKyriarchía he detests the Patrikioi due to their divisive nature. Will do anything to see the empire take its rightful place at the forefront of the world. A military who turned to politics after his discharge due to an injury Constantine is utterly devoted to bringing glory to the Empire.

Andronikos Palaiologos (austrianemporer)

I, Andronikos Palaiologos, wish to join the Senate as a member of the Kyriarchía Party. Born on the 12th of January in the year of our lord, 1817, in Britannia. I wish for the people of the Empire to achieve unity through assimilation, conversion, and tolerance of those who wish to conserve their cultural heritage as part of the Roman Empire, the Phoenix of the East, led by Her Imperial Majesty, Empress Veronica. Those who oppose us must either pay homage or be forced to pay homage!

Foiderátoi Members

Alexios Damaskinos (oskar-kar)

Introducing Alexios Damaskinos, born 10.02.1816, belongs to middle class. He is young and determined in helping Foiderátoi achieve their goals. He is committed to his Empire which glory can be assured with strong military. He seeks to end aristocratic dominance in politics.

Julian Leon (Figus)

Introducing Julian Leon. Born on the 5th of February, 1811, Julian firmly believes in the strength of the empire. but at the same time feels that the aristocracy has too much of a grip. Despite this, he is a loyal man who is willing to serve the empire no matter what. He was born in Barcelona to a Greek mother and a Castilian father and is a member of the Foiderátoi,

Marcos Alexandros (Fish-Of-Fury)

Introducing Marcos Alexandros of the Foiderátoi party. Born to Greek parents in England, joined the Leigon at 15 and served for many years. After the service moved to the capital to try a hand a politics… whether that decision was a good one he has yet to decide.

Alexander Smithereens (strategymad3500)

introducing Alexander smithereens born 1851 to a middle class family in the Levant its a member of the moralist and is an imperialist who wants the empire to have colonies in Asia .Alexander fears for his homeland due to being close to foreign borders he wishes for the empire to expand its hold in the Levant.

Michael Doukas (zenpheonix)

Name: Michael Konstantios Doukas
Birth year: 1855
Home/Residence: Athens (official), Thessaloniki (personal)
Party Affiliation: Foederatoi (official), leaning towards socialism (though this is not expressed in public)
Bio ((a bit long)): Michael belongs to a new generation of Doukoi. Along with his cousins, he believes that it is the people that make the Empire great, and as Imperial citizens they must be afforded appropriate rights and respect. After all, what are the Imperial Legions without the common soldier? What is Imperial industry without the workers toiling to make the machines work? What is the Imperial economy without the merchants that prop it up and further the Empire’s economic interests around the world?
He inherited from his grandfather and his father the sympathy for the working class, yet publicly refuses to identify as a true socialist to not be lumped into the same category as the radical socialists and communists. Like his father, he served in the Athenian Lancers upon graduation from the Imperial War Academy in Constantinople. Luckily he had gone into politics, assuming temporary powers over Thema Graecia and the Governorship of Syria while his father was on the Senate, when the Lancers were sent on that ill-fated mission into Transylvania and were utterly destroyed by an unknown enemy.
Despite his military training, he had a talent for administration, managing to secure the trust and respect of the Athenians and other citizens he governed through his tolerant policies. He now wishes to bring his talents to the Senate to improve the Empire’s well-being.
However, there is one obstacle to all of this: his brother’s dark legacy. Though he wishes to put Konstantinos’s Rebellion behind him, it would not be easy.

Christianikoú Kómmatos Metarrýthmisi̱ (XKM) Members

Heraclius Komnenos (Username1453)

Name: Heraclius Komnenos
Birthdate: September 20th, 1841, in Constantinople
Party Affiliation: Christianikoú Kómmatos Metarrýthmisi̱ (XKM)- Liberal Party
Biography: Born of the son of an influential noble in his townhouse in Constantinople. The Komnenos family traces it’s lineage back over an 800 years in it’s genealogical records and it’s well known that the family traveled with Constantine when he founded Constantinople. Heraclius grew up much like many young nobles. He lived in the city with occasional trips to the countryside and ancestral lands. He was a restless young man, however, constantly traversing the city and engaging with it’s lower classes. He consorted with merchants, blacksmiths, cooks, and others. His experience constantly left him impressed by the intellect that the people showed and the diligence they showed in a cruel life. He entered Constantinople’s University and studied the humanities (One of the few Greeks in the department!) and philosophy. He was impressed by the political and ideological thoughts produced there and became adamant in his support for more liberal political policies. However, he maintained that the Roman Empire held a special place in human affairs. That the government should be reformed with universal suffrage for all people and a political body that reflected the population. However, he believed that the head of state and head of government should be the Doukas Imperial Family. They have restored the empire and have shown judgment and foresight, as well as the benefits of the stability, decisiveness, and swiftness of action that this gives to the government. After his graduation from University, Heraclius joined the military and remained in service progressing through the ranks till a year ago. In the last year, Heraclius has been influential in forming and directing political movements that are demanding a degree of democracy. When his father died, he left to him a position in the Senate which was greatly disputed amongst his siblings. (They didn’t want to be connected to a person they thought of as a radical.) He joined the Christianikoú Kómmatos Metarrýthmisi̱ (XKM) because of their similarities on core values, however, he supports a more interventionist foreign policy than is normal party line.
Basically, a Prussian Constitutionalist who advocates Free Trade, Interventionism, Pluralism, Full Citizenship, Anti-Military. On social reforms, he supports some safety regulations and high education. He may, if he feels the people strongly support it, support a low minimum wage or work hours.

Magnus Kvensson (Beaverman1)

Name: Magnus Kvensson
Home: Barcelona, Espana
Date of Birth: 22.5.1849
Political Party: XKM (for now)
Description: Magnus is currently not comfortable in any of the main parties of the senate, but supports the internal policies of the XKM

Koinonikistai Members

Nicodemo Theodosio (NiccoTesla)

Name: Nicodemo Theodosio
Birthdate: May 3rd, 1839, in Tarragona
Party Affiliation: I Koinotita
Biography: Born the son of a successful businessman in the Catalonian region of Terraconensis, Nicodemo became a successful writer and political theorist in the Spanish-speaking regions of Roman Spain. His theories of the Rise of Imperialism and the State’s role in a society began some of the first Socialist organizations in the Roman Empire. He has been threatened with censorship and imprisonment, but his popular support among the Spanish and advocacy for a continuation of the Roman State in a socialist vein has allayed some worries. He supports the theory of International Revolution and desires the Roman State to either reform towards economic democracy or be toppled by its dissatisfied inhabitants if it refuses. The Empress is a topic he has written multiple essays on, and praises her power as a symbol of International identity of the Roman Empire, and as not entirely the same as the aristocracy, which he does protest, though their powers have been severely limited. Many less developed nations have their own theories of communism in the Juche school, and an absolute hereditary leader is a part of that school of thought. Nicodemo has largely been given this seat as an experiment, and to see what on Earth these Socialists are going on about.

I Koinotita Members
Unaffiliated Characters

Nestorius Septiadis (Damian0358)

Name: Nestorius Septiadis
Birthday: 22nd of June, 1849
Party affiliation: Unaffiliated, leaning towards the Christianikoú Kómmatos Metarrýthmisi̱ and Koinonikistai
Biography: Born in Hadrianopolis, thanks to his father, at a young age, he not only received the chance to travel around the territories of Rome, but also the chance to travel around the rest of Europe and the Middle East. He received greater opportunities to study many things, such as history, linguistics, geography, cartography and more, as he met many non-Greeks as well as Greeks, both within the Empire and outside of it. As such, he is way more sympathetic to non-Greeks than his father. Wanting to follow his father in his footsteps, he decided to join the Senate as an unaffiliated senator, though he leans more to the left. Speaking at least 7 different languages and able to read multiple writing styles, he hopes to help if a translator is needed. Just don’t mention the unfortunate connection between his name and his date of birth.

Columba Comminus (righ na-Alba)

Ave!
Your Imperial Majesty, Your Holiness, Honourable and Eminent Senators.
My apologies for arriving late for this particular session so if you will allow a few minutes for an introduction I promise to keep it brief. (Though I have provided a longer version explaining my origins further for those of you who so wish to read it)
The origins of my family are shrouded in mystery thought to date back to the time when Rome was ruled by Kings me and my kin are said to be descended from slaves who won their freedom in the overthrow of the last king and establishment of the Republic.
Overtime we rose to a respected, but not prominent or powerful place in society. By the time of the Caesars we were a rich equestrian (and on occasion senatorial) family who migrated to Roman controlled Caledonia for what most said was at long last an aim to rise to higher positions within the Empire. But despite what you may have heard was an attempt to move to more suitable climes as the paler complexion and hair of my dynasty led to an unfortunate tendency to be almost permanently sunburnt or very heavily tanned even in the winter. Those of you who have been “Up North” as they say just South of Hadrian’s Wall will know the change suited us admirably (though sunshine is nice from time to time).
After our fellow countrymen withdrew; first from Caledonia then Britannia altogether you may have thought we would have found ourselves alone and surrounded by a hostile people.
Thankfully the natives were found to be much friendlier once we stopped lording it over them and got on rather well and soon found common ground in our love of the weather, alcohol and poking fun at those men sissy enough to wear trousers.
Over the intervening centuries my family endured a series of rises and falls from wealth and power to destitution and irrelevance. We may have been down at times but never out which is more than can be said for most families which lied in the border regions of Scotland (or indeed any region of anywhere).
Which brings us to the here and now. I myself was born some years ago in “the early days of Winter 1855” according to my Da nobody bothered to note the exact date as my mas’ 13 hours of labour had left her in a spectacularly foul mood and my Da’ hand nearly half chewed off (we are still to hear the end of it).
I lead quite an active youth studying and travelling both within and without the empire. I have studied not only various languages but also am fully qualified in matters of both Scots and Roman law (which are remarkably similar) as well as theology and history according to Glasgow, Constantine, the Gregorian and Paris Universities respectively (I must confess I am rather anti-social preferring a good night’s reading to a good night’s drinking any day) I also had the honour of enjoying a brief though largely ceremonial tenure as a junior officer in the Varangian Guard and as a navy cadet. (Celts and Anglo-Saxons have been part of the guard ever since the Vikings started raiding us. Though if you value your lives you will please ensure that the Angles are as far as possible from the Celts in the same room while sober and preferably city while not (which I regret to say the latter is the norm).
And so now after an absence of many centuries my family has asked me to come to the Queen of cities to reclaim the seat in the Senate that once belonged to us. Provided your majesty has no objections.
As for political leanings I have come primarily to represent the interests of my Family and those who live in the lands surrounding my birth so you will forgive me I hope if I do not align myself just yet.
Thioridh an-drasta and God love you

Αιδεν Γκρέυ (BBBD316)

* Into the senate chamber walks a broken and haggard man, leaning heavily on a much younger man in the latest military style*
My sincere apologies for my long hiatus my Empress. A number of years ago I was a Senator like you corpulent pigs in wolves clothing, I saw with disgust the so called elite of the Empire lead our Empress further and further from the true path of the Empire and the Glorious Republic that it sprouted from. The Cult that these men shy from is nothing less than a cabal of nobles of masonic heritage attempting to stop the people from seeing their Empress and expressing the woes of the Empire.
After I laid my allegations against certain high ranking members of the Senate I was visited by a man, a man who promised a way that truth could return to this chamber of lies that even know sees more Freemason plots against our Empress! This man was supposed to take me back to my home lands to meet with landed gentry and merchants that wanted to support a drastic change in the Empire.
Instead I was bound, gagged and beaten and left in some South East Asian hell hole, there I had to work with the common man to survive for years, it was not till I was able to reach my son working at his post as Governor that I was able to be freed. So many years wasted whilst those here continue to bleed the vitality of the Empire.
In short Empress, I Senator Στήβεν Γκρέυ now I am too old to continue and my son Αιδεν will now take my place. I would heartily recommend him for Chief of Staff.

Nestorius Septiadis (Damian0358)

Name: Nestorius Septiadis
Birthday: 22nd of June, 1849
Party affiliation: Unaffiliated, leaning towards the Christianikoú Kómmatos Metarrýthmisi̱ and Koinonikistai
Biography: Born in Hadrianopolis, thanks to his father, at a young age, he not only received the chance to travel around the territories of Rome, but also the chance to travel around the rest of Europe and the Middle East. He received greater opportunities to study many things, such as history, linguistics, geography, cartography and more, as he met many non-Greeks as well as Greeks, both within the Empire and outside of it. As such, he is way more sympathetic to non-Greeks than his father. Wanting to follow his father in his footsteps, he decided to join the Senate as an unaffiliated senator, though he leans more to the left. Speaking at least 7 different languages and able to read multiple writing styles, he hopes to help if a translator is needed. Just don’t mention the unfortunate connection between his name and his date of birth.

Governorships
(North) Africa – Alexios Damaskinos
Armenia – Julian Leon
Asia – Constantine Panaretos
Britannia – Andronikos Palaiologos
Egypt – Marcos Alexandros
Macedonia – Ioannes Angelos
Naples – Nestorius Septiadis
Raetia – Columba Comminus
Sicily – Alexander Smithereens
Syria – Alexios Doukas
Brittany – Αιδεν Γκρέυ
Italy – Leonardo Favero
Spain – Nicodemo Theodosio

Staff Positions
Minister of security – Senator Doukas
Minister of intelligence – Senator Favero
Chief of Staff – Senator Αιδεν Στήβεν

Former Player Characters

Potitus Caristanius Gallio (The Crows)

Introducing Potitus Caristanius Gallio, born on November 7th 1796 in Rome. His father was a wealthy Greek trader who made millions off of a multitude of trade posts in hubs across the Empire. He is a short man, never rising above 5’6 with brown hair and brown eyes. He is also not really a looker either with a face most accurately described as squished with his crooked smile being his most defining feature. What he lacked in looks he more than made up for in political prowess and quickly joined the Senate using his fathers money and his own rather Machiavellian ways. He arrived a boy in a mans game but soon found solace with a group of like minded men who called themselves the Patrikioi. While he recognized the Senate was powerless in many aspects, having the dubious distinction of being under an absolute monarchy; but he aimed to change that and strengthen the Senate. It was not however in line with the XKM factions Liberal attitudes but rather one some call outdated. He wanted a restoration of the Senate of the Republic, one that held the ultimate authority over what the Nation did and an abolishment of the so called Emperor’s of Rome.

Basileios Rellis (Attalus)

Introducing Basileios Rellis, born on the 7th of November 1801 in Konstantinopolis. The heir of one of the oldest aristocratic families of the Empire, Basileios sees as his duty to serve in the Senate and advise the Emperor. Having never wandered much outside his great estate of Thrace and the parties organised by the best families of the Imperium he can’t imagine another way of governing : the Emperor at the top, aristocrats beside him and the pleb far below. His recent lectures of Platon and Xenophon only confirmed himself in his belief of being a part of the “good”. As such he decided to join the Patrikioi.

Konstantinos Galatías (Sakura_F)

Introducing Konstantinos Galatías, born September 1, 1796, belongs to middle class. He is a Foideratoi, and is committed to a strong Empire. He has four sons, Andronikos, Ioannes, Andreas and Theodoros.

Ovulur Kishiev (CaterpillarKing)

I introduce Ovulur Kishiev, a direct descendant to several famous Roman generals and born into a wealthy family in Cayenne in Roman Colombia,March 8 1798. Soon after he turned 17, he began to see the world around him for what it really was. He saw the lack of political freedoms and was frankly appalled by it. For 4 years he worked hard to try and bring justice through many means, but failed at each of them. Through his trials though, he had become a master politician and rose up the ranks on the political ladder. Now he resides with the rest of the Senate, supporting the Foiderátoi party, fully supporting the liberalization of Rome, yet also supporting the expansion of its power through military strength.

Nikephoros Doukas (zenphoenix)

Introducing Nikephoros Doukas, born sometime in the 1790s in Athens to a well-to-do middle-class family with ties to the legions (actual birthdate is unknown due to a fire which destroyed most family records). He is a self-made man and has joined the Foideratoi Party to speak on behalf of the common people. He advocates for social reforms to increase the well-being of the people and has ideas for overhauling the Empire’s education system so that we can have the best and brightest men and women serving Your Highness. He is currently neutral on matters regarding the military but slightly learns toward pro-military. He believes that some of the future Great Powers of the world will be in the Far East, and as such the Empire ought to form strong bonds of friendship with nations in Asia. As to the nature of citizenship, he believes that all people living within the Empire can attain citizenship and keep their beliefs and practices, provided they acknowledge the Empress as their sovereign ruler and serve the Empire well.

Damianos Septiadis (Damian0358)

Introducing Damianos Septiadis, born on the 5th of July, 1810 in Dyrrhachion, at a young age, he received the chance to travel around the territories of Mainland Rome, meeting many non-Greeks aswell as Greeks who speak their own regional dialects. As such, he is more sympathetic to non-Greeks. He would spend the next 18 years of his life traveling and studying across the entire Empire. Eventually, he decides that the only way to properly serve the Empire is to go into politics, joining the Christianikoú Kómmatos Metarrýthmisi̱. He is also known to dabble in mapmaking.

Georgios Blenchard (GreatUberGeek)

Introducing Georgios Blenchard, a member of the Christianikoú Kómmatos Metarrýthmisi̱ party, born in 1798 in Paris, France. A Franco-Greek family led to his odd name; he is mainly concerned with the plight of non-Greeks, and wants to fight for their rights. This often puts him at loggerheads with his colleagues. Besides that, he is a normal social reform liberal, strongly against the military, for reform and decentralisation to some degree, and for interventionism.

Alexios Doukas (zenphoenix)

Name: Alexios Doukas
Birthday: sometime in 1821
Party affiliation: Foederatoi but leaning towards unaffiliated
Biography: Alexios is the eldest son of Imperial Senator Nikephoros Doukas. He joined the Imperial Army after finishing his studies and served from 1840 to 1865, when he took up politics after his father’s death. Notable engagements include operations in the Levant against Iraq and Hedjaz, the Battle of Constantinople during the Cult’s first and deadly attack on the Senate, numerous skirmishes with the Russians, and finally the rescue of his father from a Cult stronghold in the wilds of Africa. He shares many of his father’s core values and is determined to destroy the Cult for good. He is married and has a son named Konstantinos who is in the Imperial Army as well.

Mikael Moustakas (Andre Massena)

Introducing Mikael Moustakas, born on April 5, 1818 in Western Thrace. The founder of the house was a Norse commoner named Gunnar who served in the Varangian Guard and rose to become a captain in the year 1650. For his service, he was given a plot of land in Western Thrace and his descendants adopted the name Moustakas. House Moustakas has risen to become one of the most prominent houses in the Empire, though there origins prevent them from achieving a place in the imperial inner circle.

Mikael has followed the family legacy and served as an officer in the Imperial Legions. He is a veteran of both Russian wars but was severely wounded and crippled in the last war. Mikael is a moderate “conservative” and aligns with the Kyriarchía faction. He believes that Greeks are the proper heirs of Augustus and Alexander but, keeping his family’s origins in mind, believes that all ethnicities can consider themselves roman citizens and receive the benefits of imperial rule. Mikael thinks that the only legitimate states are the Empire and the ancient states of the Orient. Because of this, he believes that the whole world, excluding India, China, and Japan, should be brought under Roman rule. He also holds a strong hatred of Russian barbarians.

Στήβεν Γκρέυ (BBBD316)

My I present Στήβεν Γκρέυ, born in 1817 in Ireland and fled Scottish master to Brittany, joining the local chapter of Christianikoú Kómmatos Metarrýthmisi̱ Seeking to open the Empire to the many facets of its loyal citizens, not just the Greeks.

The Empire Strikes Back 91 – The State of the Empire 1854 – 1860

Senators, your presence is requested for a State of the Empire Address on the First of March, 1860.

The following newspapers are considered significant by the archivists.
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And the Senate’s world map is being updated.
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Michelangelo Favero happily hums a tune played by Piano Cat during his concert in Constantinople.

Senator Doukas reads about a “shadowy cabal of a Prussian, Pole, and Irish-man” sabotaging the news.

It has to be the Cult, infiltrating our news agencies!  Nobody would describe any other group as a “shadowy cabal.”  It would have hurt the Empires reputation if they succeeded.

He looks over his shoulder, a bit paranoid after the rebellion in Athens six years ago.  He is surrounded by at least three bodyguards, but he is still worried.

He returns to reading his book on Ancient Ruthenian pagan mythology, hoping to find anything that could help him find the Cult.

Perhaps the Gujarati ambassador’s death may not be due to a simple robbery…
The expansion of the Ruthenians in the Far East is quite unsettling.  Perhaps we should do something about it…

I would like to see this “Piano Cat” at court.

We should also take measures to prevent another fire from breaking out in the capital.

-Senator Moustakas

The growing importance of Deccan and possibility of creating united Indian country worries me, can we get an update on how much Deccan developed is and do we consider it civilized?

UTA continues to grow and I’m still insisting on our withdrawal from Americas.

I didn’t know that Livonia and Poland were so close. It’s good to see that disputed lands (Lithuania in that case) not always cause conflicts but they’re also uniting nations. As long as they are loyal to us it’s good news. Do we have any information on tensions between Poland-Lithuania and Ukraine?

Next wars between Germany, Bavaria and Hungary shouldn’t bother us. I don’t consider any of them as reliable ally or countries that have common interests with us. Let them bleed in their pity struggles.

– Senator Alexios Damaskinos

you should concentrate on conquering more of Arabia otherwise you might get cut off from your African provinces since you only control a narrow strip of land in the Levant.how exactly did Mexico end up with provinces surrounded by USA?

– An unknown voice

who agrees that  conquering more of Arabia  its a wise choice because otherwise you might get cut off from your African provinces since you only control a narrow strip of land in the Levant

– Senator Smithereens

Who let this man into the senate building? And who gave him reports that are assigned for senators? Guards! Show this man where are the exit doors!

I say we take Arabia for the Empire. The land is ripe with possibilities, and the black sludge found there is flammable, and may be of use in weaponry.

-Senator Ovulur Kishiev

Good to see new face around here. But I think I did not catch what party are you representing, Senator Alexander Smithereens?

I haven’t heard from you Senator Ovulur Kishiev for a long time. It’s good to see you are active in Empire’s matters again.

I think Senators that expansion in Arabia is worth considering, but are we sure we would be able to control those Islamic heathens? Besides, I’m not sure, but don’t we have a truce with Arabic nations due to our latest conquests in Asia? I’m sure that Empress Victoria would be able to confirm it or deny it.

– Senator Alexios Damaskinos

I say there is no need to conquer the savage deserts of Arabia

-Senator Moustakas

We must act expand our lands to secure these resources before the Arabs use it against us! I see much potential in the future from this, but only if we act now.

-Senator Ovulur Kishiev

I Alexander  smithereens represent the Foiderátoi party who wishes to expand our empire by seizing Arabia or perhaps seizing some land in the new world but we must expand

Senator Alexander  Smithereens

Well I do not.

-Senator Moustakas

Greetings, Senator Smithereens (weird name you got there, is it a Levantine name or something?).  Glad to see the Foederatoi’s recruitment campaigns are paying off.  Also, you are a senator of the Empire now, so please speak like we do or we may not be able to take you seriously.
Senators, I do not believe a major expedition into Arabia would be necessary.  Taking the holy sites of Mecca and Medina would severely damage our relations with the Muslim world and possibly with Muslims living within the Empire.  We could send a few expeditions there to check out the surroundings and possibly seize Syria and the territories near the Mediterranean, but I will not support any far-fetched excursion into a hostile desert.  There’s a reason they call it the Rub al-Khali–the Empty Quarter.  Maybe establish a few outposts to secure control over this “black sludge” you speak of before the Arabs can…

~Doukas

I hope you do not say that I am an intruder. I am the distinguished Ovulur Kishiev, mind you.
If not now, then at some point we must seriously consider this though. Even if it means integrating the region peacefully into the Empire, we must do something before another nations acts.

-Senator Kishiev

My apologies, I was not referring to you as the intruder, Senator Kishiev.  Surely you witnessed the man who burst into the Senate room and clamored for an invasion of Arabia shortly before the arrival of Senator Smithereens?
Yes, Arabia is a strategically important location.  However, rushing headlong into the desert right now, what with a Cult of pagans out to kill us all, would not be the best idea.  I am advocating for a gradual settlement of the region, setting up outposts and protectorates in the area before setting up a full administration.

~Doukas

I see, well let’s hope we can take advantage of it once we have the ability to.

-Senator Kishiev


Senators,

It seems that despite Our publishing of the facts of the day, much of the public has chosen to believe rumors about the attack on the Senate last session.
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We decided that it were best to develop regulations to create banks focused on lending to businesses, as well as create a few initial state-owned business banks.
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And the legions had already been recovering from the wars of the past few years. They continued to replenish. We also had the Scholai Palatinae expand to include a guard cohort.
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In June to 1854, Khiva was no longer considered among the Great Powers, England now rising to fill that void. At the same time, We began sending diplomatic envoys to the Ming. And soon thereafter, reactionaries actually rose in revolt in Varna, Athens, and La Rochelle. They were swiftly put down by the legions.

The wars and the rebellion had distracted us, and Poland was able to wrest Livonia from the Empire’s influence. They were able to convince them to join in union, forming the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
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The whole year, We assessed the employment of Our citizens, and began creation of several new factories throughout the Empire. By October, they were ready, the legions had been expanded, and all was at rest. So, though we were still at war with Mexico, We reduced funding to the army and navy and lowered taxes.
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In early 1855, Mexico tried to claim bankruptcy. But We could not stand for this, and so added the repayment of debts to Our list of demands for peace. By February, they sent an emissary agreeing to this demand, as well as all of the UTA’s demands for land, and so We agreed to this peace. As for the reasoning behind the UTA’s particular demands, we have no idea what they were thinking. Perhaps they intended to isolate Mexihcan lands? Perhaps they anticipated returning to war soon and seized the richest of the lands they ultimately intended to take?
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In addition to the UTA’s expansion, England had expanded their influence into the Amazon.
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And Hungary had expanded at Germany’s expense.
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In more peaceful uses of diplomacy, We made moves to solve our constant dye supply problems by courting Ceylon, and in 1855 We were able to add them to Our sphere of influence.

As well, Persia rose as a Great Power, replacing Germany.

And Our banking regulations were completed. We followed these up be asking Our best writers how to inspire both nationalism and imperialism in Our citizens, as needed.

When we sought to continue expanding the Empire’s influence in the eastern islands, well, Senator Favero, would you share your report?

Senator Michelangelo “the Artist” Favero, Duke and Governor of Italy:

I am certain that many of you remember back to that fatal day that Constantinople was attacked? The group responsible, the so-called Cult of Chernobog or whatever they may call themselves, has been causing mayhem across the Empire ever since their first attack. We do not know why they do this other than that they wish to cause war, violence, and chaos throughout the Empire and the world. These pagans are clearly mad, but that does not mean they are not clever.

Recently, at the behest of the Empress, a group of diplomatic advisors and generals met to draft up plans for a potential war with Hedjaz over the northern Philippines. We had verified information that the Cult of Chernobog had set up a large base within Hedjaz’s land there to use to harass the Empire with impunity. This meeting was of the utmost secrecy, yet within a week of convening, the plans drafted at that meeting were leaked to the Hedjazi authorities in the Philippines. This is an embarrassment to the Empire. Even our best diplomats had not been briefed on these plans yet and were thus unable to stem the backlash we faced from this debacle. Our reputation has been tarnished because of this incident, yet the circumstances surrounding it are much more sinister.

The Empress requested that I look into the incident, since it was suspected that cultist activity was involved. I had my best men investigate any leads, and after much searching were able to root out a lair of this Cult of Chernobog in one of our holdings in Southeast Asia. It had long since been abandoned, most likely because they knew we were coming beforehand, but they left behind a couple documents linked to the original plans for the war with Hedjaz. It is clear that these pagans are still within our ranks, stealing our best kept secrets and ready to use them against us. Who knows when they’ll strike again?

It is unfortunate that the cultists were not caught red-handed, for it made the eventual declaration of war more damning. Hedjaz knew we were coming and any explanation we gave for war only sounded faulty to the world. The Cult of Chernobog has made us look like war-hungry fools, even as we move to destroy them. I can only hope that one day we root out this foul pagan group once and for all so that the Empire can continue on in peace.

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While this was happening, the Empire of Mexico experienced a revolution, thrusting a liberal party into power. The UTA took advantage of this to declare a war for Arizona. They asked us to join, and We agreed. However, as Mexico still had no army, We sent no legions.

By late December of 1856, the Empire was prepared again for war with Hedjaz. XI. Legio began the usual sea circuit, defeating an army in Tacloban.
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Meanwhile, I. Legio and XIX. Legio made the usual invasion of Hedjaz proper, with XIX. Legio diverting to defeat an army attacking Beersheba. Enthusiasm for war was high. But this was a short war, with Hedjaz agreeing to peace in March of 1857.
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With the end of this war, We learned better how to manipulate both Nationalist and Imperialist notions to demonstrate the superiority of the Empire and of its citizens.
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We further sought to better understand the past glory of the Empire by sending archaeological expeditions to Egypt.
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The philosophers of the University of Constantinople claimed that society had discoverable laws as in natural philosophy, so We funded created chairs for several new philosophers to seek these laws.
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Late in the year, we added Bastar to Our sphere of influence, securing even more dye for our factories.

The philosophers had not been able to find simple laws governing the way society operated.
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However, other philosophers proposed that society could be described as a series of overlapping functions. So chairs were funded for them.
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In the beginning of 1858, Russia declared war on Iraq, claiming more eastern Siberian land as theirs. They eventually won the war, also giving Persia some of Iraq’s land as prize for assistance in that theater.

And we faced another rebellion. This time Jacobins, who rose in Aurillac. We raised funding to the legions so they would be put down with minimal harm. This increased funding to the army proved well when Bavaria insulted one of Our ambassadors.
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Bavaria had recently won wars against Germany and Hungary and had expanded at their expense. We decided it was well to put them in their place. Bavaria’s armies flooded across the Alps, and XXVII. Legio sought to stem the tide. Meanwhile, XXIII. Legio swept in from the east, chasing a Bavarian army before finally confronting and completely defeating them in the province XXIII. Legio had first been occupying. And X. Legio stuck against Bavaria’s allies in Thuringia in the west. The fierceness of the Imperial attack stunned Bavaria, and they soon surrendered.
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When corruption in the state industrial departments was shown, We began investigating, eventually ending subsidies to the worst factories. As expected, other factories were able to provide jobs to the displaced workers.
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The philosophic investigations into the functions comprising society were completed, and while useful still did not provide a complete picture of society.
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However, the recent wars had hurt the Legions. Not from the fighting, but again from disease, harsh weather, and the like. So We again sought for natural philosophers to seek solutions to these problems by finding better materials for uniforms, gunpowders, and other supplies.
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As they did so, We continued slowly closing clipper factories, always ensuring that the displaced workers had new jobs, even encouraging new industries better fitted for their regions. With the closing of many clipper factories, We thought it prudent to have the navy develop design for steamers to replace the Empire’s old Man-‘O-War ships.
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Finally, there seems to be sufficient support to make political reforms in the Empire. Though We are firmly of the opinion that elections are not needed. We are able to correctly select the best Senators to advise Us.
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Is there ever a time that the UTA is not at war with the Mexicans over this land or that land?  It is frankly exhausting hearing about them and their repetitious efforts to conquer the continent.

I trust your judgment implicitly, Your Majesty.  There is no need to consult the people when you always have their best interests at heart.  It would only limit your ability to perform your duties.

– Senator Michelangelo “the Artist” Favero

It’s good to hear that Your Majesty considered our suggestion of not involving Legions in UTA’s wars, but I’m afraid that our reaction was to slow, as we can see, with Mexico having no armies, UTA is now capable of expanding into the rest of continent without our help. Let’s just hope that they won’t turn against us in the future.

Also, after recent events of terrorist attacks our citizens seem to want political reform, especially Free press, that would, in their opinion, ensure them thruthful informations about the state of Empire and the World. I suggest creating some sort of illusion, let non-state press function, but only after our approval, thus making sure that our citizens will be free from dangerous and radical ideologies. That should also satisfy their need of political reform, thus avoiding radical changes like elections.

– Senator Alexios Damaskinos

Elections…the very word reeks of the liberal menace!

-Senator Doukas

I see no harm in letting the people have greater control over the press, if we censor anything that could harm the Empire.  It is surely better than the nonsense that is elections.  We haven’t needed them for centuries, so why start now?

– Senator Michelangelo “the Artist” Favero

Another glorious victory for the Imperium!

I believe we should consider terminating the alliance with the Tribes so we do not keep getting dragged into their endless wars.

Furthermore, I propose that we create a commission that would study the effects and viability of a press run by the populace. It may reduce discontentment from non-Greek peoples if they are allowed to express their grievances in print. However, the press should be carefully monitored, of course.

I would be curious to see how our statisticians in the Diplomatic Corps rank the Great Powers of the world.

Nikephoros motions to a servant, who hands him a thick file with the double-headed eagle seal of the Imperial House Doukas and the letter “X” stamped on it.

I almost forgot, Her Imperial Highness has directed me to give a report regarding the details of major rebel activities since 1854, which have been gathered into this file.  I shall refer to this file and all subsequent files as the “Chi Files.”

Servants hand out copies to the other senators.

You may be wondering…why am I tasked with documenting small and isolated rebellions?  Well, the answer is that they’re not so isolated after all, as I found out personally.

When the first rebellion broke out in Athens, my house was burned down, with my wife and servants all brutally murdered and dismembered; the local tagmata managed to help me escape but could not return in time to save my wife or servants.  Leading the mob of so-called reactionaries was a Slavic-looking man with an eye-patch, promising to bring down the Empress for her crimes against tradition.  When I found my wife’s body, a sign was nailed into her head, with the following written in blood: “The Cult Remembers.”

Yes – the Cult, the same one that almost killed the Empress, is behind this.

In the next few years, as rebellions broke out in France, Varna (nearly killing my son), Egypt, and Southern Hispania, with their ideologies ranging from Jacobin to reactionary, all of them shared a defining characteristic: a Slavic-looking man with an eye-patch led them and managed to escape the tagmatas sent to crush the rebellions every single time.  We know this man as Iosef Ignatieff, the leader of a savage pagan cult practicing abominable human sacrifice to their Dark Gods and bent on the destruction of the Empire.  He came very close to doing that in 1854.

A couple days ago, I found this letter in the mail.  Let me close by reading it out to you:

“To the Duke who is now a duke and the Doukas who is not emperor:

Your Empire’s efforts at crushing rebels are in vain.  The Cult is many-headed.  Sever one head, and two more shall take its place.  Soon we shall succeed – the Empire shall fall, and Chernobog shall feast on humanity.  It is even better if you die; my seers tell me that the death of the Duke and the Artist shall being about the death of the Empress and the House of Doukas, and they are never wrong.  We’ve sent men to Venice to handle the Artist already.

As for you in your city of Constantinople?  We don’t need to send anybody.  We have men there right now, in the Senate itself.  I can tell you, there are twelve worshippers of Chernobog among the ranks of your “loyal senators” as you read this.

Have fun.

Iosef Ignatieff”

That’s all I have.  Any questions?

~Senator Doukas

You are wrong senator Damaskinos. Give them an once of liberty and then they will ask for more. Let the reforms come when the Empire is ready. No need to listen to the demands of the rabble!

I wonder if this Polish-Lithuanian “union” will last. Often dual-sytems end up dismantled because there can be only one ruler in an ideal state. Do they claim Imperial or Ukrainian territory ?

Also I hope we’ll get to know more about the wonders of Egypt. Such civilization needs to be understood better!

-Basileios Rellis

With no action, the people will grow restless. It is wrong to assume the people do not already want some form of change. There was a popular saying where I come from. “Sometimes, the hardest time to notice something is when it’s most obvious”. We can keep putting off change, and we can keep ignoring the populace. For how long though? A year? A decade? A century? Eventually the people will grow restless with no change. I am not in support of a rebellion or immediate change, but I do want these words to be heeded.

-Senator Kishiev

the status of our navy should be updated

senator smithereens

Has anybody bothered to read the files I passed it just now?  May I remind you that there are twelve traitors within our ranks as we speak?

~Doukas

what files?

senator smithereens

do you have proof about this accusations or any links between the government and this traitors?have you authenticated the letter and how did they get the letter through your guards perhaps you should clean house first

senator smithereens

If you had attended the previous Senate session, you would have found that a traitor had been exposed while the Senate was in session.  He confessed to working with the Cult.

If you had taken a closer look at the files I passed out, you would have found that the leader of the Cult sent me a letter proclaiming that there are twelve traitors within the Senate.  Claiming that the Cult poses no threat to the Empire would be a very bad idea.

~Doukas

can you authenticate the letter and as for the exposed traitor are you sure its part of the cult or just confessed  because it  wants to start a witch hunt and destabilize the government making it hard to trust our fellow senators ?

senator smithereens

The letter is written in the Cyrillic script, with handwriting that has been identified to be that of the Cult leader.  I am merely doing my duty for the Empire, and I want to get rid of these traitors as much as the rest of us do.
As for the traitor, upon an investigation of his house we found that he had been conducting human sacrifices, complete with an altar and a book on Slavic paganism.  There were also letters from the Cult leader found, and they have been compared to the letter I have received.  The handwritings are the same.

~Doukas

have you found any information on the traitor senator so we can remove them the longer we take to unmask them the harder it will be to remove them from their position and have you check if there any links between the cult and the royal family there might be some member there if they are so widespread as you said.

senator smithereens

I’m afraid that if you want more information on the traitor, you’ll have to ask the Intelligence Division; I don’t know what they have found and if I did I would not have the authority to tell you.
I am not sure about the royal family…an investigation shall be recommended to Her Imperial Highness at once.

~Doukas

head of the Intelligence Division
im writing in regard to the traitor who you recently apprehended in the senate im wondering have you found any links between the cult and the imperial family im worried they may attempt to seize power if a member of the family is willing to support them. i have my suspicions of someone in the imperial family because of his trips to Russia  informer has tip me off that something happen on his trip  but we are not sure exactly what here an image my informer manage to get to me before he disappear.

senator smithereens

Alexios Damaskinos whispers to Senator Doukas.

I know that being witness of such terrible events can change a man and I’m sorry I was in Riga and not in Constantinople back then, but you have to listen to me my friend. This letter is not a proof. Maybe one of Senators from other party wrote it to provoke you. You can’t say such things in public. You do realize that you accused over half of the Senate of being traitors? You really want to make yourself enemies, after all those years of cooperation between Senators? Listen to my friendly advice and reconsider it.

perhaps you are right but it comes from doukas if we cannot trust him who should we trust?

senator smithereens

call the guard to protect the senate in the future

senator smithereens

Sir, my apologies.  I did not mean to offend anybody.  I was trying to do good in the name of the Empire.  I shall retract my claims and instead send out copies to other senators so that they can decide for themselves the nature of the potential threat.

~Doukas

I apologize to my fellow senator for saying that there were traitors among us i suggest that we follow doukas example and make our own judgement before accusing anyone.

senator smithereens

anyone in the intelligence division get my report?

senator smithereens


The wars between the UTA and Mexihco seem tiresome, but they make sense. Mexihco and the UTA both easily expanded among peoples similar to themselves, and eventually Mexihco also expanded into western America, which is sparsely settled and loosely-controlled. The UTA only contends for this area, not for the Mexihcan heartland. Nevertheless, it seems unnecessary to aid them in these wars.

With your suggestions, We believe that the state newspapers can be augmented with privately-run newspapers. Provided, of course, that these private newspapers are willing to allow for state oversight, to ensure they do not publish material harmful to the Empire.

As for Poland-Lithuania, We shall see how they fair. They claim no Imperial nor Ukrainian territory, and seem more focused on expansion in the Indochina peninsula.

Senator Smithereens, We agree regarding the navy. Once designs for better heavy ships are made, then We shall begin a mass building project for the navy, ensuring Imperial superiority.

We have no further information regarding the cult beyond what senator Doukas has been able to offer. We shall have Our agents continue to investigate.

But in happier news, We have borne yet another child, princess Veatriki. As well, princess Veronica has married Prince Frederick of Germany. We truly are blessed.

Do the Senators have any other questions or comments?


Congratulations on the birth of another child, my Empress.  My she live a happy and healthy life.

– Senator Michelangelo “the Artist” Favero

Congratulations on the new baby and the marriage, Your Highness. God bless the imperial family!

-Senator Moustakas

Your Imperial Highness,

Congratulations on the new daughter and son-in-law!  I hope this leads to peaceful relations with the Germans in the future!  As for the Cult, I shall continue searching for clues to their whereabouts.  They shall not rest while I am still alive!

~Senator Doukas, Minister of Security


Senators,

As always, thank you for your time and your advice. This session of the Senate is now concluded.