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 Post subject: Swansong of the Krufnsilfr
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:31 pm 

Joined: Sun May 10, 2015 8:28 pm
Posts: 2514


Shirerithian control over the realm of Crowsilver had always been a tenuous affair. The full extent of how tenuous that dominion had been was about to become all too apparent.

In 1652 the Crowsilver Division of the Goldshire Regulars was reduced to five regiments of local militia. The air defence systems, artillery, and armoured vehicles, had departed with the trained regulars, looted by the Imperial Forces to equip the garrison of the Lywall Protectorate.

At around the same time the port and island of Fystlond was leased to the Imperial Navy. Not much is known about imperial activity on the island but it is widely suspected that it serves as an anchorage for u-boats and minelayers belonging to the Eastern Armada. This constitutes about the maximum extent of Imperial interest in this far-flung colonial possession of the Kingdom of Goldshire.

The Hammish Civil War, and Sxiro-Natopian intervention therein, had a catalysing effect geopolitical relations on Micras, triggering the formation of an anti-Shirerithian bloc centred around Jingdao and Passio-Corum. One of the first acts of the so-called Voorpost Pact in 1647 was to attempt to impose a naval blockade of the Hammish overseas territory of Neo Patrova situated midway between USSO aligned Gerenia and the territory of Crowsilver. The ESB-Jörmungandr Group and the Imperial Government jointly hired a veritable host of native warbands, lured with a mixture of upfront payments and dubious promises concerning rights of plunder, to escort a relief convoy overland from Crowsilver to the garrison of the Sxiro-Hammish Agricultural Mission in Neo-Patrova.

This mercenary tradition continued during the active phase of the War of Lost Brothers (1653-1656). The King of Goldshire paid for bands of Crowsilver warriors to raid the Jingdaoese shore across the Northern Sea. Yet when the war drew to its dismal conclusion, and worse yet the King lapsed into an inconvenient coma care of another round of botched facial surgery, the hirings and the payments abruptly ceased.

The ESB-Jörmungandr Group was, under somewhat dubious circumstances, granted the title of count (“Yfrmathr”) in commission for Crowsilver by the King in 1651. The corporations activities in the territory attracted scant attention from the outside world until a tragic industrial accident in 1657 saw an uncontrolled release of phosgene at an ESB chemical synthesis facility in Hjartahom. 95,000 Krufnsilfr, the indigenous population descended from settlers of the Gralan 'New Territories', perished during the incident and a further 600,000 suffered acute poisoning and respiratory symptoms in the days and weeks afterwards.

In spite of a highly publicised visit by the young Kaiser, Ayreon IV, in the immediate aftermath of the catastrophe, the impression quickly spread that the fate of the Krufnsilfr was one which Goldshire, to say nothing of the Imperial Government in Shirekeep, regarded with complete indifference.

This impression was far from being misleading. Even before the Auspicious Occasion and the wave of decolonisation following the expulsion of the Froyalanish monarchy from Elwynn, the scattered overseas territories of the Imperial Republic had been considered an unnecessary burden. Following the loss of Kildare to Jingdao in 1617 there had been an abrupt shift away from the internationalist world view, wherein – under the Alexander Doctrine – Shireroth had considered itself to be a world spanning colossus at liberty to subsume any and all failing nations the world over into the Imperial Republic. Disgusted by the betrayal fomented by their erstwhile Apollonian comrades, the Shirerithians of the remaining Imperial States began to consider their empire to be essentially Benacian in character. As confidence recovered and rearmament began in the 1630s, it was perhaps inevitable that the primary effort of the Imperial Republic turned towards the subjugation of western Benacia, the so-called graveyard of empires, where now Minarboria tottered and proffered new opportunities.

Next to this, Crowsilver – peripheral, foreign, and impoverished – was hilariously irrelevant.

By the midpoint of the year 1659 therefore, even the most parochial, insular, and "information-poor" of the Krufnsilfr were perfect aware of the scant regard with which they were held by their far off lords and masters.

Already in 1651, as the moment of the Auspicious Occasion approached, a brief revolt had been sparked by rumours that Crowsilver was about to be sold to the King of Elwynn as part of a sordid trade to coax Noah into releasing occupied Mishalan from his clammy grip. The land-swap had fallen through, just one of a myriad of factors contributing to the downfall of the Froyalanish, and the restive locals had been appeased by the appointment of the Elfinshi matron Layla Verion as Ethnarch of Crowsilver.

Now matters were once again coming to a head, and in the background fresh conspirators lurked.

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