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 Post subject: The Hidden War: Earthen Order, Second Decision
PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:21 pm 
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Written by Nero Shade
Edited by Chesterfield Taft

Lhasa

Sister Doreen took a deep breath before she knocked on the large wooden door to Matriarch Clara’s office. There was a quiet pause, during which Sister Doreen took a few more deep breaths and calmed herself down. She had never been asked to visit with the Matriarch personally in her office, but she knew it was going to happen sooner or later once she had been asked to organize the outreach programs. What worried her was that the request had only arrived an hour ago.

“Come in,” Matriarch Clara said from inside her office. Doreen took her last deep breath and opened the door. Stepping into the bright office, Doreen noticed the sparse feel of the room. The walls were bare, and the furniture was plain. The only decoration was a small sculpture of a tree that Doreen did not recognize. The desk was large and made of a dark wood. The seat Matriarch Clara sat in was plain red wood, and surprisingly not as large as was expected. There were several plain chairs, made of metal, and a few of them were already filled.

“Welcome Sister, please have a seat,” Matriarch Clara said without standing. She motioned to the four others in the room as she asked, “I trust you know Reverend Standfast, but have you met the others?”

Sister Doreen sat down, setting a briefcase down next to her as she looked around. Reverend Standfast was indeed there, looking even more serious and gray than ever before, but the three others were strangers to her. Each of them were dressed in simple, brown robes, which showed some signs of recent washing. One of them was a boar with a bandage over one eye, and the other two (a horse and an ape) both had small cuts and bruises.

“Sorry, but I don’t believe we have met.” Sister Doreen said as she looked at Matriarch Clara with a worried look.

“They are special messengers from the Barrens who have managed to reach us. In the Barrens they were charged to guard and deliver important information, and have now managed to reach us.”

“Aye, a service much appreciated. Your work and sacrifice will be rewarded, mark my words.” Reverend Standfast commented softly.

“Sister Doreen, how are the outreach efforts moving along?” Matriarch Clara asked directly. There was a pause as all eyes went to Sister Doreen, who calmly opened her briefcase and pulled out some papers. She flipped through them and separated out a few, which she passed to Matriarch Clara.

“After we finished the full inventory and worked out the logistics, we have been able to provide services of various kinds to many skylands in need. We have projected that we can continue our outreach for a period of one year, allowing for one major event, like the evacuation of one of our skylands.”

“I see,” Matriarch Clara said, “We may have that major event then.”

Sister Doreen looked around in surprise and confusion. The three messengers showed no sign of emotion as the ape stood up at a signal from Matriarch Clara. Clara looked at Doreen, “As I said, these are messengers from the Barrens, but they are not the only messengers that have been sent. They are just the only messengers who have managed to reach Skytopia alive.”

The blood drained from Doreen’s face, and the room suddenly felt very cold. The messenger who had stood pulled a letter from his robe and opened it.

“Matriarch Clara and the council of the Skytopia sector of the Holy Earthen Order of Magus,” he read, “It is most distressful to the Council of The Twelve High Priests that the world has been under siege by an unknown enemy. This group you have referred to as the Hidden Fleet has attacked not just your part of the kingdom but all parts. We in the Barrens, as you know, have been preparing for all future possibilities, and have defenses set for all types of attacks. What we did not prepare for was for an enemy to be as numerous, tenacious, and technologically advanced as this Hidden Fleet. We are under siege, and Alcuin’s Citadel is in terrible danger. We, the Council of Twelve, are calling out to our many colonies to send resources and pilots to defend the Barrens. We know that the Hidden Fleet is attacking all, so know that this is not a command. If you cannot send resources and pilots, then the peace of Magnus be with you. Know only that this is our darkest hour, and the temple of the Prophet is direly threatened. Please, respond quickly. We send our prayers and faith to all in this time. May the breath of Magnus carry you.”

The ape sat down, Matriarch Clara moved her hands from her face and looked gravely from person to person.

”We must send aid,” Reverend Standfast croaked out, his voice hoarse with emotion. His gold topped cane was clasped firmly in his hands, and though his back was straight and proper, his head seemed to hang lower than normal.

“I… I don’t think we can.” Sister Doreen blurted out in surprise and shock. “I mean, not right away.” She began digging into her briefcase, but fumbled and papers spilled out all over the floor.

“What do you mean?” Matriarch Clara asked with a raised eyebrow.

“I mean, I know I said one major event, but I didn’t plan for the Barrens having a major need. We would have to cut back, or even stop our outreach here to send help to the Barrens! Even then, we would be limiting ourselves here severely and might not be able to properly defend ourselves!”

Reverend Standfast asked sternly, “Do you know this? Or is this merely an estimate? Are you certain? Or are you just going off of memory? Besides, if the Barrens falls we will fall. We must send help, and we must send our best. The Council of Twelve High Priests may have said this is not a commandment, but mark my words, we better treat like one. It’s the will of Magnus that we do this. ‘Gaurdians of the Truth, Protectors of the Way, Army of Righteousness. These are the titles of those who fight in my name.’ and Magnus had said that the very spot the Prophet of Alcuin is now praying is sacred and needs our protection. If it was commanded, we should not hesitate to abandon Skytopia to fight in the Barrens!”

Doreen took a deep breath, “I’ve attempted to analyze it as best I can. I have inventory and pilot reports right here. We have 75% of our pilots flying at any given moment, the remaining 25% are resting, with rest times being around eight hours. The ones flying are running combat, escort, or delivery. Very few, if any are flying for personal reasons. As for supplies, without taking too much time, if we just go with that ‘One Big Event’ plan, we can cut our outreach program to six months and for a couple of months half of forces will be diverted to deliver and protect those supplies. I am certain that once the people working with me do the numbers, we are going to have severely limit our outreach, and our skyland protection flights are going to need to be reduced.”

Standfast looked deeply into Doreen’s eyes. Gradually, the hard lines of his face softened and he shook his head sadly, “I know it is difficult for you to understand; you are a Skytopian. You have never seen the Barrens, or had the chance to stand in the great shadow of Alcuin’s temple. The Barrens is the birthplace and home of the Order. It is where Magnus descended from the heavens to give us a vision of hope and wonder in this tainted world. You speak of numbers and estimates and how far you can push the endurance of a pilot. I will ask you, Sister, do you have a number for the will of an individual? I have studied and seen the different Factions of Skytopia. We do not have strength of arms, nor clever ingenuity, no. What we have is our faith and our will. If the Barrens falls, the people will have lost the only strength they have. For years, Alcuin taught us that we must seek out the world to bring the light of Magnus to those who could not find the strength to stand up against those who surrounded them. Year after year, like a benevolent father, the Barrens gave and gave of itself, never asking anything in return.”

Standfast shook his head again, looking down at the stone floor of the chamber, “Until now.”

Those in the room were silent, as the weight of the situation fell upon them like a heavy shroud. Matriarch Clara stood up and moved to the windows, looking out over Lhasa, she took some time thinking before addressing those in her office.

“As Matriarch, it is my responsibility to protect and look after the people of Skytopia. I am also bound to the Order to answer their call for help. If it was a matter of sending our surplus, I would just make this choice for our part of the Order, but I must follow my oath to look after the people. In cases like this I cannot ask them to sacrifice without first giving them voice. We must see if they can bear more sacrifice to send aid to the Barrens, or we must decide if all we can offer is our prayers and hope.”

She turned around, concern in her eyes. “May Magnus guide us.”

The Earthen Order must now come to a decision.

A: Send forces out to defend the Barrens. The Earthen Order in Skytopia will have a penalty to Supply/Workforce/Influence gathering.

B: Do not send help to the Barrens, risking its fall.

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.


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 Post subject: Re: The Hidden War: Earthen Order, Second Decision
PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:17 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 5:20 pm
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Faction: Earthen Order

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The grizzled old lynx cleared his throat, looked down from the podium at the sea of young, bright-eyed faces.

"So much has happened in so little time, my friends. First the Reds claimed Lhasa, and then they were forced by the attacks of the Hidden Fleet to withdraw their forces to defend all Skytopia. Indeed, the Earthen Order was restored to play its own part in this crisis. We have restored peace, and we have rebuilt our skylands' infrastructure. Daily, we help the refugees cast adrift by these mysterious attacks."

"I'm proud of all of you students who have played your parts, sacrificing your free time to volunteer in the infirmaries and in the workshops. Whether your neighbors followed Brown or Blue or Red or Green or Purple mattered less than that they needed your help."

"But now others have requested our help, from an entirely different quarter. And more, they have threatened ancient institutes of learning, of great historical and archaeological signficance! I am thus calling for volunteers for an extramural expedition to the Barrens -- to Alcuin's Citadel, specifically. You will receive academic credit for participation, of course -- nothing teaches like experience -- but I will not lie, there will be risk to life and limb should you choose to join the Earthen Order fleet on its way there. As such, there will be a limited number of slots, and I will be personally supervising this expedition from the Wee Beastie." He named the great Kingfisher that was the latest incarnation of the students' perpetual striving to improve on classic aircrafts - sometimes disastrous strivings, more often perplexing than entirely beneficial.

"Remember, this is not the only quarter that requires our attention. We daily continue to protect Skytopia from the Hidden Fleet's attacks, and make sense of their mysterious signals and motives. But if we can learn more from the Barrens as to what drives their attacks there, that may aid our struggle and hopefully, give us clues as to how we can end their threat entirely."

"Signups for the Alcuin's Citadel expedition will remain open for the next few days before we depart. Please consider your decision carefully, and should you have guardians, you will need to obtain their signature on the release form before you can proceed into what is, for all intent and purposes, a war zone."

Secretary Felonious Drake rolled her eyes. As if all of Skytopia wasn't a war zone already! Still, as the Chancellor concluded his speech, she sat behind her table at the back of the room, handing out flyers. "Yes, there'll be radio contact. No, food and ammo will be provided, but you should keep a survival kit on hand just in case you get separated. Yes, you can bring your own planes, we'll provide in-air refueling..."


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 Post subject: Re: The Hidden War: Earthen Order, Second Decision
PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:01 pm 

Joined: Wed May 13, 2009 2:58 am
Posts: 303
Location: Alaska
Faction: Flight School
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Three bells indicate a public service announcement on the earthen order's public radio channel, followed by a young females voice repeating the core tenants of the order "'Glory, Service and Camaraderie, The Earthen Order."

The familiar sound of engines and propellers can be heard in the background, while the not-so-familiar voice of a young but gruff man begins to speak, "Salutations children of Magnus, my name is Eeptog, the prelate to the earthen order. I know almost none of you know who I am or what I do, I plan to change this. A very disturbing message was delivered to my office days ago, a call for help from our home, a call from Magnus." There is a slight break in the speech, Eeptog can barely be heard conversing with someone in the background, "Friends, we don't have much time, I'll be blunt. The barrens are under attack and are close to collapse, but do not fear! The noise you hear behind me is a large fleet ready to defend our homes, lives and honor! A Large group of volunteers are already making their way across the sky. While I would like to urge you all to travel with me we need more soldiers here to protect Skytopia, although you can not save the barrens with your own hands, your prayers and good faith would help greatly. 'A man without faith is a plane without wings."

A slight sigh can be heard even over the background noise, "Upon my election I spoke of a great darkness coming over the order, it seems it is worse than I imagined. But friends, as we all have been taught, The Light of Magnus Shall Always Shine Through!"

Three more bells ring as the sounds of the planes stops and the radio returns to static.

((lynx puts me to shame, i havnt RPd in ages))

_________________
~Now known as E. Togsworth ingame.~
The character is the same, the name is whats changed.


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 Post subject: Re: The Hidden War: Earthen Order, Second Decision
PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:14 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2007 5:20 pm
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Faction: Earthen Order

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A veritable flock of student planes of all types flew high over the endless oceans - mainly mid-tier planes like the Seahawk and Dauntless, but also experimental planes, in the way that students will forever challenge accepted wisdom. One such sputtered along, a Mantis that had had its engines replaced with two Havoc engines. Had they been properly tuned, it would have been faster than all the rest, but as it was, it veered back and forth dizzyingly, one engine coughing smoke.

"Take it easy, we're almost there," Lynx's voice said soothingly over the radio. The Wee Beastie hovered close by, a Kingfisher painted blue with gold splashed over the wingtips and tailfin, emblazoned with the Earthen Sanctuary seal. In the distance and high over the clouds could be seen the massive Leviathans carrying fuel for the Earthen Order's relief fleet.

Just then, the Mantis's left engine died entirely. It plunged into a tailspin, accompanied by a rising wail on the student radio frequency.

"Oh snap. Cut your engines! I say again, cut your engines, before they make your spin any worse!" He struggled to walk the student through recovery from the tailspin, before it became a powered dive to the ocean surface - at that speed, rather similar to smashing into a miles-wide concrete floor - but over the enormous roaring of the Havoc engine strapped right next to the pilot compartment and his own yelling, the student couldn't hear any of this. There seemed little anyone on the outside could do to save the student.

Accident saved the student: the other engine took that moment to flame out as well. With the sudden unnerving silence in the cockpit, Lynx's voice finally came through to its pilot. "... Good, good, now keep your rudder right, stop that spin. You've got plenty of altitude still. You just need to stabilize, then pull out into a glide. We'll drop a tow line for you."

An hour later, the students and faculty joined the Earthen Order fleet, to the cheering of the more experienced pilots already there. "This is Chancellor Adorienne, reporting in with the last group of volunteers. Glad we managed to catch up with you guys. Everything all right on your end? And ah, Prelate, can you clear some hangar space? One of my students, ahem, needs a little hand fixing his Aerodynamic Engineering 301 project."

:smirk:


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