Pre-game (setup for turn 0)

Solo campaign by olivertheorem

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Pre-game (setup for turn 0)

Postby olivertheorem on Sun 18 Aug 2013 19:24

The following is set in a time period roughly equivalent to late Ind1/early Ind2. Turn 0 will have to wait for another day. I need to sort out some spending issues after finishing the initial fleet purchases and setting up R&D.

Tirdas, 17 Koni, Year of Battle 2023

Goldwilde, holy city of the Church of M’Khera

The Chosen stood silently, hands clasped behind his back as he looked out the window of his office in the High Tower of M’Khera. As he waited for reports of the latest, and hopefully last, battle in the centuries-long War of the Gods, his mind wandered. Before being named Chosen by his peers among the high priests of the M’Kheran pantheon, he had been high priest of Tesif, god of names. How ironic, then, that 30 years after becoming Chosen, he couldn’t even remember his own name. Such was the way of things in the Church, however. No Chosen was referred to by name or deity after being selected, and since all records of his life were changed accordingly, it was often only a few years at best before even the Chosen forgot his own name. The Chosen was stirred from his reverie by an insistent knock on his door. “Could the battle be over already?” he wondered before calling out permission to enter.

The War of the Gods had gone on for centuries, and the damage done over the years was so terrible that few, if any, even remembered just how it had begun. What was known was that there had been a number of pantheons worshiped on Maenali Prime, in the midst of a number of nation-states, but that for some reason the churches began to do war upon each other. Initially clandestine (and in spite of the national governments pressuring them to stop), the conflicts quickly escalated into all-out war, with the churches raising their own armies to the point that even the national governments and militaries became subsumed into one church or another. The Church of M’Khera, though not even close to being the most militaristic of the churches, had been easily the most grimly determined when hostilities began. This trait had led the M’Kheran church to, slowly but surely, become the most powerful of the churches vying for control of Maenali Prime. About a hundred years ago, the remaining churches had entered into an uneasy alliance against the M’Kherans, each believing that it could defeat the others once the M’Kherans had been defeated. Nonetheless, the Church of M’Khera had held its own despite being outnumbered, to the point that rumors circulated among opposing forces that the M’Kheran soldiers never retreated because their feet had been nailed to the ground they held. This was, of course, patently untrue…well, most of the time, anyway. It was all coming to a head, however, as the opposing churches had assembled a sizable majority of their forces for an assault on Goldwilde. The Church’s agents had rooted out the general sense of the plan with sufficient time for the Church to mount a defense. Probably 75% of each military was in the field right now, and the result of the battle would also mean the dominance or defeat of the Church.

As the Chosen had expected, his chief military advisor entered his office. Grand General Mase Sonand was an aged man, but none doubted his piercing military intellect or his intent to end the war that had cost him two wives, 20 years apart, and several children. General Sonand approached the Chosen and bowed, not rising until the Chosen granted permission. “It is ended, then?” asked the Chosen. Only then did Sonand allow himself a slight, if sad, smile. “Yes, Chosen. Many of our soldiers have entered Doakrin’s rest, but the heathens did exactly as we expected them to do. We have broken their back, Chosen. As we speak our armies move to wipe the heathen remnants from Maenali Prime; the planet belongs to M’Khera now.”

Loredas, 24 Koni, Year of Battle 2023

Goldwilde, holy city of the Church of M’Khera

The Chosen checked his appearance in the mirror one more time. It was almost time for his first address of the united population of Maenali Prime. After the grand defeat of only seven days prior, the surrenders had come in fast and furious as the heathens had finally seen the error of their ways and accepted the superiority of the M’Kheran pantheon. Now that the War of the Gods was over, save for a few holdouts, it was a tenuous time for the populace. A people that had known naught but war for generations had to learn peace, and to aid in the learning the Chosen knew that they needed a goal toward which they would have to work together, in the process mending what differences remained. He was fairly certain, though, that what he was going to propose would shock all people, even lifelong M’Kherans to the core.

“People of Maenali Prime, followers of the great and mighty M’Kheran pantheon, behold your Chosen!” belted the announcer’s voice as the Chosen walked to the podium. His address would be broadcast to all possible points on Maenali Prime’s surface, and for some it was their first view of the Chosen. He took a few moments to compose his thoughts (he hated to use notes), and began to speak.

“Children of M’Khera! Tonight we stand unified for the first time in our world’s history, at the end of a terribly long and bloody war that has cost each and every one of us something, SOMEONE precious. In the last few days and the days to come, things will seem strange. No longer will there be constant battle somewhere on our world. No longer will parents spend every passing day wondering if the dreaded message will come. Some may think that they no longer know their purpose, as the war they have fought for all their lives has ended. My children! I come to give you purpose, each and every one. While the mighty M’Kheran pantheon has subdued its opposition here, on Maenali Prime, could it not be that, among the multitude of stars we see each night, there remain other worlds populated by persons who have yet to bend knee to their greatness? This, then, is the mission I give to all who inhabit Maenali Prime. We shall venture to the stars, by means yet unrevealed by K’th, goddess of knowledge, and put all things under the foot of the M’Kheran pantheon. This will require the wholehearted efforts of each and every one of you. The scientist, to devise the means. The craftsman, to construct them. The soldier, to use them. The citizen, to support the others. My children, in time to come, we shall go to the stars!”

As he stepped back from the podium, he smiled inside. He could see on the faces of those present the shock. No one had known what he was going to say, and clearly none of them had expected this, of all things. “To the stars?” many had to be thinking. The best the people of Maenali Prime had ever managed was to make it to their moon and back; to think of making it to another star seemed preposterous. The Chosen was confident, however, that someday another Chosen would send men into the darkness of space to subdue it in the name of mighty M’Khera.
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