Written by Markus Jarnhann and Walther
Edited by Chesterfield Taft
DISPATCHES FROM THE WAR-FRONT
Fuseli: A meeting between the Pirate Lords and the Crimson Armada command staff has resulted in a historic cease fire and peace treaty between the Crimson Armada and those Pirate Lords for the duration of the present crisis. Whether or not this peace will continue to hold afterward remains to be seen...
Tortuga: The skyland has seen unprecedented jubilation in the last week, given the signed treaty between the Pirate Lords and the Crimson Armada. Spontaneous celebrations broke out earlier this week at the announcement. Sales of Grog, on an already thirsty skyland, have gone up five hundred percent. Combined with the stubborn resistance of the skyland against the Hidden Fleet invasion, things are looking very good for Tortugan merchants. Local distilleries are running twenty four hours a day to keep up with demand, however, import from other skylands will be necessary to fill orders.
Echo: With the recent arrival of cargo convoys flying the banner of the notable pirate lord Abel Invuln, there have been mutterings and some slight unrest. While the pirates have been perfectly civil, aside from rising grog prices on the skyland, there has been little related pirate activity. It would seem that while the skyland flies the Armada banner, not everything is so easily laid aside. On the whole, however, while the population is weary of Pirates on their skylands, they are still focusing on the war effort, which thus far, has managed to leave Echo relatively untouched.
Shriebeck: The training facilities have received an influx of raw Pirate recruits, and have begun training them... vigorously and quickly, in hopes to bring them up to Armada standards. Thus far, results remain mixed; the same spirit that makes the Pirates valuable allies also makes them hard to incorporate into the Armada. That aside, the first class of Pirates have finished their 'refresher' training, and will be joining the forward echelons of the Armada as replacements and reserve units.
Sharif: A great brawl was reported during a gathering of nomads on the skyland; rumor has it that a wing of golden Bolos, no doubt under the command of the noted eccentric Pirate Lord Phineas Phreshwater, was seen leaving shortly afterward. Reports are generally sketchy, but it seems that a pirate gathering spilled into the gathering of the nomads, and tensions lead to fistfights. No lives were lost, but thousands of squigs worth of property damage was reported.
Alpha 17: The Alpha platform, being informally referred to as Fort Bastion by some members of the Armada, has been relatively silent. Armada forces continue to beef up the platform's defenses, and stand ready to repulse additional Hidden Fleet Attacks. The garrison has already rebuffed hot and heavy Hidden Fleet attacks in prior weeks. Morale remains high, while the situation remains generally grim.
Tinkspoit: Civilians on the traditionally Green held skyland have been seen protesting recent moves by the Crimson Armada to incorporate the Pirate flotillas into their organizational structure. Civil patrols, and Armada military police have been beefed up on the skyland in preparation to deal with mounting unrest.
Crimson Armada Ship, Scarlet Blade
In an office buried deep in the bowels of the massive beast sat a small, harried looking mole, a clipboard in his hands. With him were his two assistants- the trio were facing the large oak desk that had once served Admiral Fuseli during his tenure aboard. His gaze flicked periodically from the clipboard in hand to the figure seated behind the desk. The stern visage of the formidable Rear Admiral Barthus Stoatmeier stared back, taking in the figures rattled off by the mole before him. He nodded at each figure, stroking his chin pensively, and spoke once the mole reached the end of his list.
"So, what you're telling me is that we can manage this in decent time, but we're going to need a significant investment to do it. Is that about right, Mr. Endrescu?"
The mole nodded, before continuing in his low, rumbly, gravelly voice. "That’s the long and short of it, Admiral. We could put her back in commission in a matter of weeks… if the men and materials show up."
"...Very interesting, thank you. You've been doing good work here, Chief Endrescu. I feel certain we'll likely as not be moving forward with this. Get what you can ready with what’s on-hand. I believe we should have a final decision within a week. Dismissed, chief."
The mole rose to his feet and snapped off a much crisper salute than was the usual standard aboard the mothballed warship. He turned smartly after the seated admiral returned it and made his way out of the Flag Office with a bit of a spring in his step. By Magnus, it was good to know that he and his boys hadn’t been forgotten out here.
Stoatmeier could only smile as he watched the mole’s retreating back. This project, after all, would put him back where he wanted to be, and would right certain wrongs he felt had been effected, as well as restore a certain luster to the whole Armada.
A few hours later, briefing room, Crimson Armada Ship, Scarlet Blade...
Assembled relatively quickly at the behest of Stoatmeier, a small group of officers sat ranked down the sides of the table in the Scarlet Blade’s most intimate and well-appointed briefing room. Admiral Stoatmeier stood with his presentation board at the head of the table, and he suppressed a smile as he watched Vice Admiral Vizzareal, a pensive and slightly suspicious look on her face. She had claimed one of the closest seats to him, sitting across from the representative from the Charter of Free Pirates, Phineas Phreshwater.
The chatter came to an abrupt halt as Admiral Fuseli himself entered. The assembled officers stood to attention (even Phreshwater stood respectfully) until the Admiral seated himself and waved them off. Stoatmeier cleared his throat, and began.
"Ladies and Gentlemen of the Armada, and," he gestured towards Phreshwater, who chuckled, "our esteemed 'Special Contractors', I would like to present a project that might tilt the tides of war even further in our favor." He paused for a moment to allow that to sink in. "It is true that our foes’ guns reach further and hit harder than nearly anything in the skies. It is true that our foes are implacable and tenacious; an iron nut that that seems impossible to crack. It is also true that they can strike nearly anywhere with impunity."
"...It is also true, however, that we once said the same of ourselves. And,” Stoatmeier made a grand gesture, encompassing his audience and the great war machine wrapped around them, “it could be said of the Armada once more."
"This warship once sailed the skies, an indomitable symbol of the Armada’s might. Her guns hit harder and further than any. She carried brave pilots and their craft into the heart of battle. She fought the good fight, and well.” Stoatmeier paused again, seeming to take a moment of silence in remembrance of those brave souls before continuing, “She can still answer the siren call of battle, ladies and gentlemen, and I believe she must if we are to ever finally put paid to the threat now facing us and all of Skytopia. I have been in consultation with Chief Warrant Officer Endrescu, the head of the mothball maintenance operation here. They have worked miracles of preservation on a shoestring peacetime budget. The Blade’s guns would not be found wanting.”
Murmurs went up from amongst the crowd, as Fuseli fixed his subordinate with his keen gaze. "Barthus, there is no doubt that it could be done, but can it be done practicably given the… circumstances we find ourselves in?"
Cutting Stoatmeier off before he could respond, Vizzareal spoke up, her husky contralto piercing the din. "That is precisely the salient question, Admiral. I can hardly imagine the investment in skilled labor and raw materials necessary to move this ship under her own power. Where will the fuel oil come from? What will it take to restart production of the oversized shells those guns throw? The logistics of maintaining the Fuseli as a stationary platform are galling enough!"
Phreshwater surprised everyone present by being the next to speak, cutting Vizzareal’s strident objection off with a hearty chuckle and his booming baritone. "Mmmm. Yes. Worthwhile. Certainly worthwhile. Practical? Hah, who knows. But, what, pray tell, hmmm, is scarier in these skies than a broadside from the famed battleship herself? Hee. Puts a certain note of mmm... fear into the hearts and minds of your enemy, I should think." The walrus’s normally jolly expression twisted slightly, a flash of dark cruelty showing through. “Always a useful thing, my… friends.”
Stoatmeier cleared his throat, breaking the brief uneasy silence, "...As Mr. Phresh--"
"--Captain, if you'd please, my dear, dear Admiral." Phineas’ face had returned to genial normality as suddenly as it had turned in the first place.
"...Captain Phreshwater says, this great ship has twofold effects on the battlefield. It allows us to smash fleet formations more easily, of course, but it also provides a powerful and terrifying deterrent. The fleet continues to strike where defenses are weak. They have yet to show the spine necessary for the kind of stand-up battle the Blade brings with her wherever she goes."
Seeming to weigh this again, a predatory smile formed across the Admiral's face. "Very well. I am intrigued, gentlemen. I want a full report run up on the resources and time necessary to bring the Crimson Blade back to fighting trim. Send copies to the usual crop of officers for analysis. I will make my decision once I have had time to weigh those opinions."
The Crimson Armada must now come to a decision.
A: Devote resources to bring the Scarlet Blade back into fighting form. Doing this will mean that the Armada will have a penalty to all Supply/Workforce/Influence gathering, but in return will gain access to the battleship as a faction power.
B: Devote those resources to defending the front lines. The Crimson Armada will gain a bonus to Supply/Workforce/Influence gathering.
Faction leaders should discuss with their faction and then private message the final decision to Lord Gilbert by 11:00 AM Central on June 13th
You may use this thread for discussion if you wish.